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Mountain Lion in Redwood City Backyard; State Fish & Game Decides Risk Too High, Puts Animal Down

You’ve probably already heard about the mountain lion incident that took place this morning. Here is what I sent to the media, so that you’re fully aware of what happened.

~ malcolm


At approximately 8:19 am this morning (Tuesday), a report was received by Redwood City Police of a mountain lion in the vicinity of Alameda de las Pulgas and Whipple Avenue. As police were responding, a high speed automated phone call was made to over 600 residents in the area, to notify them of a possible sighting and to urge caution.

Subsequently the sighting was confirmed as a mountain lion, and the police set up a perimeter to contain the animal to a backyard. In addition to that residence, police contacted approximately 10-12 other residences to advise of the situation. All residents are either safely inside their homes, or not at home.

As of  about 10:30 am the mountain lion was located in a residential backyard, inside a police perimeter. The police had contacted  California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) officials who were on site, and working on alternatives for safely removing the animal.

At approximately 11:30 am, officers with the DFG made the determination that it was too great a risk to the public safety to attempt to administer a tranquilizer dart to the mountain lion in a residential backyard, and therefore they took the unfortunate but necessary step of putting the animal down.

In this situation, the safety of the public is of paramount importance to both the DFG and the Redwood City Police Department. The goal in a situation like this is to try to keep both the community and the animal safe, and return the animal to its natural habitat. Due to the position of the animal, between two fence panels in a residential back yard, DFG officers concluded, regretfully, that they could not be certain of applying the tranquilizer to the optimum location on the mountain lion’s body. Secondly, the tranquilizers can take up to 10 or 15 minutes or more to take effect, and the prospect of the animal reacting violently to the dart and escaping the perimeter presented an unacceptable risk to the residents of the neighborhood.

Both Whipple Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas are very heavily traveled roadways, and the entire area is very urban and populated. The incident took place not far from Sequoia Hospital, and about ½ mile from Stafford Park, which is heavily used by residents, especially on a sunny day like today.

The mountain lion’s weight was estimated at 100-110 pounds. Its gender was not determined on-site. The mountain lion will be taken to DFG in Sacramento for examination.


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