Breaking: Authorities Kill Mountain Lion in Redwood City Backyard

Large cat posed a threat to residents' safety, officials said.

Updated 2:28 p.m.

A mountain lion that wandered into a Redwood City neighborhood this morning has been shot and killed by authorities as it posed a risk to people's safety, officials said.

The 110-pound cat was spotted about 8:15 a.m. near Alameda de las Pulgas and Whipple Avenue, near Sequoia Hospital.

Police responded and set up a perimeter, trapping the mountain lion in the backyard of a home at 2515 Whipple Ave. near Hillview Avenue, Redwood City spokesman Malcolm Smith said.

Officers notified nearby residents about the situation, and an automated phone call went out to about 600 neighbors telling them to stay inside, he said.

Authorities said they did not have a good enough aim to tranquilize the mountain lion. Because it was hissing at police, the animal posed a threat, they said.

"They had little choice," said Wally Oliver, who owns the home whose backyard the mountain lion crept into.

"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," Smith said in a statement.

Cherie Oliver, the other residence owner, said she believed the city responded in the most appropriate and quickest way possible.

A game warden with the state Department of Fish and Game shot the lion twice with an  M1A1 rifle.

Because of the given situation, authorities had to consider the safety of the residents in the neighborhood, said Lt. Todd Tajari of the Department of Fish and Game.

The body was placed in a bag and escorted away in a Department of Fish and Wildlife truck.

"We have a hot tub in our backyard, and I'll think twice anytime I'm in there and hear a rustle in the leaves," Cherie Oliver said.


Correction: Lt. Todd Tajari originally estimated the weight of the animal to be 150 pounds.

Merrily April 06, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Wednesday April 13th at 7:30pm, Carrington Hall at Sequoia High School. That is the meeting with a panel organized by Felidae Fund - Puma Project! Come and get informed!! :) Let's be better prepared for the next time.
Stacie Chan April 06, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Thanks for the info, Merrily! Patch will definitely be there.
Jay April 12, 2011 at 10:52 PM
LP; Some suggested reading: http://www.cougarfund.org/living/behavior/ Otherwise stay out of lion country. But do your children and wildlife a favor, teach the information in article to your children.
Stacie Chan April 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM
For those interested in learning more about the Department of Fish and Game's response protocol, Patch shot a video of a community discussion Wednesday night. View here: http://patch.com/A-gBGV
Ana Lucia Novak April 16, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I am very sad about the killing of the mountain lion. It's a tough situation. I think the helicopters should have been sent away because the noise rattled him. Also mountain lions tend to stay away from humans and they love to roam. He was probably on his way back into the hills and may have been distracted with cars, people etc. Hiding was the only way he could feel safe. But to corner and crowd an animal will cause anxiety, fear aggression. I just wish that they would have taken more time to resolve this before choosing a gun. Send the noise away, get some raw steaks (cant you put some kind of tranq. In the steak?). And exhaust all options.


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