Mountain lion shot and killed by police officer in San Luis Obispo

July 7, 2010 

A mountain lion was shot and killed by a San Luis Obispo police officer Tuesday after it climbed into a tree in the backyard of a home.

The residents of 407 Jeffrey Street were in their backyard just after 5 p.m. when they saw a mountain lion in one of their trees, according to a news release from the police department. The residents called 911.

When officers arrived, they saw the mountain lion in the tree, about 15 feet from the ground. Officers surrounded the yard until officials from Animal Services and Fish and Game could arrive.

The mountain lion was deemed a serious threat to the public and nearby residents because it was in a heavily populated neighborhood, according to the news release. Officials decided to tranquilize the mountain lion so they could relocate it out of the area.

At 6:25 p.m., Animal Services employees shot the mountain lion with a tranquilizer dart while it was still in the tree. Approximately four minutes later, it fell from the tree and landed on the ground.

The lion then got up and tried to leave the yard by jumping over the rear fence. Officials felt like that posed a significant risk to nearby residents, so a police officer shot the animal.

However, the lion was still able to jump into the yard of a neighboring home. A police officer shot the lion again, and it was killed.

Fish and Game personnel took the lion, which appeared to be an adult, for further examination.

-Larissa Doust

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