Update: Mountain Lion Cubs Shot by Wardens

As a last resort, Fish and Game shot the mountain lions prowling around the downtown area of Half Moon Bay out of concern for public safety.

Update 12/4/12 1:25 p.m.:

Two young mountain lions were shot and killed by game wardens in Half Moon Bay on Saturday afternoon, a California Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman confirmed today.

The mountain lions had taken refuge under the porch of a home in the 800 block of Correas Street on Friday, department spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and game wardens responded to the sighting and confirmed the presence of two "adolescent" mountain lions around 10 months old, each weighing between 25 and 30 pounds, Mackey said.

The animals had "blank stares" and did not try to hide or run away from the humans, she said.

"When these cats aren't trying to scamper away, that raises a red flag," Mackey said. "They seemed very habituated to humans, which was unusual."

The cats were in a neighborhood that is adjacent to a wildlife corridor leading to the Burleigh-Murray Ranch State Park.

In an effort to allow the cats a chance to go back into the wild, game wardens left the area for about 24 hours, Mackey said.

However, when the cats were seen in the same neighborhood the next day, wardens made the decision to shoot the animals in the name of public safety.

"We care about wildlife, we want to preserve wildlife — but public safety was a priority in this case," Mackey said.

Attempting to tranquilize the cats with a poke-stick or dart gun was not an option, given the close proximity of the animals to a populated neighborhood.

"Animals don't go down right away," Mackey said. "It can take two to three minutes or not work at all."

Having two possibly agitated young mountain lions on the loose so close to people and pets posed too great a risk, she said.

The animals were taken down at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A necropsy will be performed on the cats to determine their age and health condition.


California Department of Fish and Game wardens shot and killed two mountain lion cubs Saturday that were in a backyard on the edge of downtown Half Moon Bay, according to a San Mateo County Times article.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office responded to a report about the lions Friday in the 800 block of Correas Avenue and called in the wardens.

When the lions came back the next day, said Fish and Game spokeswoman Janice Mackey, the wardens shot them out of concern for public safety.

Read the full article here.

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Rusty L. December 06, 2012 at 07:33 AM
Why couldn't Janice Mackey make the extra effort and attention to contact wildlife preserve organizations while waiting a day to see if the cougar cubs would leave? She could've secured the perimeter of the home and tranquilized them knowing there was no place for them to go. I guess it was just easier to shoot the cubs in the head with a bullet! When your up against such dangerous man-eating, ferocious lion cubs, you have to consider she had in her mind to save the taxpayers' money so their department could look good in the public's eye! She was so concerned on wasting taxpayer money that to provide the extra effort and cost to save the 2 cubs would just be too much of a burden on taxpayers. She decided the cougars deserved to be slaughtered with a cheaper taxpayer bullet! That way this warden can stand proudly in the limelight knowing she can be confident of securing the safety and security of the public from these awful, viscious, despicable, months old cougar cubs! Since my taxpaying money went to the warden(s) gun, uniform, truck, pay, etc. to slaughter these 2 cougar cubs against everything I believe in keeping these dying species of cougars alive, I demand that the fish and game department FIRE Janice Mackey for her incompetence and lack of sensitivity to the public that want to preserve these animals for our future children to enjoy, instead slaughtering them whenever its convenient and cost saving all the while propagandizing public security and safety!
George Heyduke December 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I have heard that the mother mountain lion wads killed when it was struck by a Prius
Ron December 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM
They DO NOT relocate Bears in Tahoe. They kill any and every Bear that is trapped in Lake Tahoe.
George Muteff December 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Posted this http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county-times/ci_22159223/half-moon-bay-cougar-killing-prompts-demand-changes on the most recent Patch piece, http://halfmoonbay.patch.com/articles/should-the-fish-and-game-wardens-have-tried-more-options-before-shooting-the-mountain-lions-poll , but apparently folks are still reading this one too - so here ya go.
bob Simon June 05, 2013 at 06:03 PM
I have to say that after reading the posts here that there is a lot of ignorence and anthropomorphism in the people posting. It is true that mountain lions are an abundant and important part of our ecosystem here in California but picking up every animal that is sick or injured and either "rehabilitating" or relocating them is a major mistake. It may make people feel all warm and squishy to do so, but is a massive waist of time, resources and is a detriment to the species as a whole. Large wild cats don't want to be locked up in a zoo, their natural ranges are huge and they are predators which need to hunt. locking them up for their own good is a long and boring death sentence. Rehabilitating and relocating is a waist too because you are ploping animals that couldnt survive on their own right smack in the middle of territories that belong to other animals. The result of that is far worse than a swift bullet to the head. I'm not saying that what the wildlife officer was the correct. But it was his decision to make. The end result will be that the government will bend over to make special interests (pro big cat groups) happy, and make it even more difficult for the people who dont look at furry critters through an anthropomorphic lense to do deal with these types of incidents. The end result will be an increase of these types of incidents happening. Wild animals die, its part of life and people need to get a grip and deal with it.


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