Yesterday, we here at the morning show were glued to our TV sets watching local news coverage of a 3-year-old mountain lion that had somehow gotten loose in the city streets of Santa Monica.
The wild animal was discovered by a janitor at around 6 a.m. in the courtyard of a building.
Officials were called in to handle the situation and after a series of attempts, they were forced to shoot the cat and as a result, it died.
It all seemed so sudden to us. Why couldn’t they tranquilize it? If it was in an enclosed space, couldn’t they keep it away from the general population?
Carson wanted to get to the bottom of this, so he called up Paul Hamdorf from the Department of Fish and Game Law Enforcement to shed some light on the situation.
Hamdorf explained that the cat posed a danger to the health and safety of the neighborhood. The Department of Fish and Game is used to handling matters like this and they executed a series of planned maneuvers to try and manage the threat.
“There was a well-formulated plan and it took place in order. Unfortunately, the lion didn’t react in the way we would’ve liked it to and [it] tried to get out of that courtyard. That’s when they attempted to use the fire hoses and the pepper balls to keep it in there…And then as a last resort when it appeared it was going to get out of the courtyard area and be out of control, it was euthanized.”
There’s a lot of variables that go into tranquilizing a large animal and it’s not as simple as just shooting a dart.
“Every animal reacts differently to the drugs. It’s not a matter of how much, it’s a matter of how fast it’s going to act on the animal. We’ve had them run as far as a half mile and obviously that would’ve been completely unacceptable yesterday…It’s not really the dosage. It’s where it hits. If it hits a bone, it’s not going to act very fast. If it hits a big muscle, it could take a few minutes or up to 10-15 minutes.”
The biggest mystery that has yet to be explained is how exactly the mountain lion got into the urban streets of Santa Monica. The wild animals are notoriously afraid of humans.
“The nearest habitat that we could see is probably 2.5-3 miles away. That cat could’ve covered that in the nighttime hours, but it’s not typical.”
Officials believe the lion lived in the wild and was not raised in a cage by someone. It also didn’t seem to have any physical or mental ailments.
“It appeared to be healthy. We’ll know a little more when the necropsy is done. That’ll be probably in the next week or so.”
- Do you agree with how authorities handled the situation? Sound off in the comments section!
[Source: CBS Los Angeles]
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles