Mountain Lion Cornered, Killed In Redwood City Yard

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – Authorities shot and killed a mountain lion that they cornered in a backyard after it wandered into a Redwood City neighborhood Tuesday morning.

The cat was first spotted about 8:15 a.m. near Alameda de las Pulgas and Whipple Avenue.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

Police set up a perimeter and trapped the animal in the backyard of a home near Whipple Avenue and Woodsworth Avenue, about a block from Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City spokesman Malcolm Smith said.

The mountain lion was shot sometime around 11:30 a.m.

California Department of Fish and Game Lt. Todd Ajari said the department prefers to tranquilize wild animals if the location is conducive to it and officials can get a clear shot. In Tuesday’s case, officials were forced to kill the mountain lion because it was cornered in a residential area, he said.

Cherie and Wally Oliver, who live at 2515 Whipple Ave., where the cat was trapped, said the animal was in a tree in their backyard.

Cherie Oliver said there is a hot tub about 20 feet from the tree.

“I’ll think twice in the hot tub at night when I hear rustling in the leaves,” she said.

>>Related Story: Coyote With Cat In Jaws Spotted In San Anselmo

Oliver, who was home sick from work Tuesday, said she agrees with decision to shoot the mountain lion.

“They couldn’t chance him being wounded and running off terrorizing the neighborhood,” she said.

Scott Delucchi, a spokesman for the Peninsula Humane Society, said police initially contacted the PHS to see if it had tranquilizing equipment. He said the PHS told police that the agency doesn’t typically deal with mountain lion incidents.

Residents were alerted about the mountain lion’s presence through an automated phone call.

Dozens of neighbors gathered near the home to watch the commotion late Tuesday morning. As word spread through the crowd about the mountain lion’s fate, there were gasps and some exclaimed, “They shot it?”

Camille Torres, who lives nearby, said she thinks it was smart to kill the mountain lion because it was in a residential area near a park and a hospital.

“If something happened, we’d all be saying, ‘How come you didn’t do anything?’” she said. “I’m all for saving the animal, but you never know what can happen.”

Her friend and neighbor, Barbara Britschgi, disagreed, saying she was very upset the mountain lion was killed.

“They should still be able to put it in a cage for God’s sake,” she said. “There was more danger because of traffic that was going past than from the mountain lion.”

After the cat was shot, Fish and Game agents loaded it into the back of a truck parked in the driveway of the home and eventually drove away.

No injuries to humans were reported.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • Kimberly Fielding

    This really makes me sick to hear about this. Like there should be some kind of reward for treating an animal like this. We Live in Their turf, not the other way around. We develop and develop on their land and expect them not to impede on our property. I am sorry for lion, and do not understand why he could not have been relocated.

    • Luigi

      This story brought tears to my eyes. The poor lion, killed for no reason. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. We went there and killed the lion, we have no soul to do such attrocities. And the cost, we tax payer get to pay for this. Please people report on crimes, not of wild lion that is causing no harm.

    • Mike Murray

      They always have an excuse for shooting these poor animals. It iis really a weak and pathetic excuse. The animal was posing a threat? He was in a tree,. I am sick of these cowboys going in with their guns blazing as the first and only course of action.

      • Shana McCracken

        I couldn’t agree more!

    • Dennis Nichols

      Well said Kimberly…WELL SAID!

    • Derric

      We are in their land sure, but this wasn’t on the outskirts of a free land area, this was well within a residential city area.

      Try a search on Mountain Lion attacks. These cats don’t have a problem killing humans. Cowboys riding in with guns blazing?? Catch and release? Tranquilise? Please, this isn’t a TV movie people. Theis is real live with real people in danger.

      I for one am glad this animal was put down before some poor child ended up in a pile of Lion feces. Give me a break and get a clue.

      • devin

        why not put down some people, we spend so much on prisions and the difference is those people have commited harm to others, unlike the poor mountain lion which did NOTHING and can’t be proven to have done anything. How about we shoot people who act up rather then allowing them court time on our tax paying dollar

    • Rick Mathers

      I have an idea, why don’t you call and ask?

      Mailing Address: California Fish and Game Commission
      P.O. Box 944209
      Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
      Physical Address: California Fish and Game Commission
      1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1320
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone Number:
      (916) 653-4899

      Fax Number:
      (916) 653-5040

  • Frank

    seriously?? have they ever heard of tranquilizer guns?? They use them in zoos don’t they?? This was a stupid action taken by DFG

    • Dan

      Kudos to CDFGame and their exercising of common sense.

      • devin

        your an uneducationed idiot. Why don’t you get an education before commenting. Animals aren’t causing all the problems on Earth, HUMANS ARE CAUSING ALL THE PROBLEMS.

      • Rick Mathers of San Mateo

        “your an uneducationed idiot” says the guy that wants to shoot and execute inmates to save his precious tax money. Yeah, your a winner.
        Our tax money believe it or not goes towards your protection, that is exactly what the fish and game did. Protect the sheeple from themselves. If you ever come into contact with a mountain lion, please, I encourage you to give it a nice warm saucer of milk and pet its pretty little nose while wearing a meat suit. Haaaa haaaa Gimmy a call Im in the phone book. I’d love to see that.

    • Rick Mathers

      What people don’t understand is that an animal this size would be very hard to control. If tranquilized the animal would still be active for 15-20 minutes and could be very active even longer due to the combination of fear and anxiousness after being confronted. A larger dose would kill it anyway’s.
      This was a very difficult choice to make but since the area was full of by standers and several schools and day care centers are well within the zone a Mountain Lion could cover and still have the energy to kill several people or children. The choice was made to kill the animal.
      Think about the outrage if residents were harmed if the animal were to run loose after being tranked. Damned if you do damned if you don’t. Plus mountain lions can’t sue you for wrongful deaths. Sad to see it happen but it was nesasarry.

      • devin

        I agreen lousy excuses, you sound like BP, Rick.

      • Pat

        Lousy excuses

      • Rick Mathers

        Don’t bag on my cause I had nothing to do with the killing of this animal. I am just putting up facts. Like to add that it took animal services 1 hour to make the decision they made. Maybe next time they won’t take the call. Hope its not my neighborhood.
        What do you think would happen if the animal was left alone. Even the slightest possibility of a death or injury is reason enough to take action. Would you prefer we all pull the covers over our heads and hope it runs off.
        If you want to direct your anger towards someone, call your mayor, protest animal control. Don’t just sit here and cry poor kitty. Its a predator, its part of life.
        Support your local animal sanctuary. Donate to your local human society. Obviously the cat was down that far following the food. Deer and stray cats are its main food source in suburbia. I sound like BP, please.

        And to the guy that said to kill people in prison. Really? Thank god your not in control. Pretty sad to believe people can think that way. Save a cat that posed a threat but kill a human for making a mistake in life. Nice.

    • Kat

      Humans wont be happy until every wild animal is dead and gone. then we can post them on our flags and pretend we love animals.

      • Rick Mathers of San Mateo

        actually Humans did a pretty good job restoring the population of many different animal species all over the United States. But how is this for irony?
        We take land for urban sprawl. In oreder to save the mountain lion from extinction we then catch, relocate and release mountain lions that don’t pose a threat. That brings up the deer population to the point that the deers food source is deminished so that brings more deer in to suburban areas which in turn brings in the mountain lions that feed on the deer. Then we kill the mountain lions that come close to the areas that we sprawl. All don’t with Devil’s precious tax dollars.

  • Annie

    I live about 1/8th of a mile away and the buzzing of the helicopters was horrendous. I can only imagine the terror that this poor creature felt during his final hours. All that wind, noise and then three gunshots. Department of fish and GAME indeed. So tragic.

    • David Rossi

      I live nearby as well and have children and pets that could have easily been killed by this PREDATORY ANIMAL. People like yourself should head out into the woods unarmed and see how the friendly animals will treat you in fantasy land. These animals eat and kill large game all the time. You are a bleeding heart fool.

  • Karen J Redwood City

    I agree with Kim and Frank. Our taxpayer dollars should have been used to tranquilize the lion and relocate it. I am very saddened and disappointed how the Department of Fish and Game handled this. It seems like they killed the animal because it was “convenient” to do so. If that is so, Fish and Game needs to re-evaluate their policies, and next time, DO IT RIGHT!

    • Konrad M. Sosnow

      A little research will show that in the last several years the Department of Fish and Game always, 100% of the time, chooses to shoot too kill rather than to tranquilize Mountain lions.

      Someone needs to tell them that they are to protect wildlife, not kill it.

    • Gary

      That is correct Karen.
      The Fish and Game should open up hunting for Mountain lions like there was not so long ago. We did not have these situations before the hunting was stopped by the greenies. If tranqulized and relocated this animal would have been in someone elses backyard in no time.

      • Pat

        Really Gary? You can read their mind? and predict that?

      • Rick Mathers of San Mateo

        No Pat, that is just common sense and maybe information readily available for everyone to research on the internet on predatory animal behavior.
        Predators follow food no matter where you put them. They are also territorial .

  • Marie

    DFG’s Mission Satement: To restore, protect and manage the state’s natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved. – Time to write your congresswoman and state assemblyman.

  • Leslie

    I agree with all the comments. This makes me really upset. They could have use tranquilizers!! Was it that DIFFICULT to sedate the animal and return him to safety?????????????????????? there should be a law against this kind of scenario……

  • Walker

    Just how much time and effort did they spend “analyzing” the situation before deciding to shoot and kill. Fish and Game needs to get more people with both common sense and humane instincts.

  • Gin

    They had a clear shot of the lion if it was cornered in a backyard so it could have been easily tranquilized, caged, and released back in the wild. Very upsetting.

  • Sandra

    I agree as well, it is a little sickening that an animal’s life is so easily brushed aside. I’m all for safety of the residents and children, but they had the lion cornered and most likely terrified, it wasn’t as if it was still roaming loose, they should have done more to avoid killing it.

  • Scott

    I don’t understand why they seem to always opt in to kill the animal, rather than tranqilizing it or somehow set up a trap if possible. It shouldn’t be necessary to kill unless it attacks anyone. Catch 22, I guess…

  • Tours Martel

    Fact check, people. Shooting a dart through tree branches isn’t as easy as it sounds. Second, relocated animals of all species either return shortly to the same location as previously caught, or die when they are put into unfamiliar territory. I do agree that the lion should have been allowed to eat one or more of the liberal neighbors’ children.

    • LazerCat

      I can think of a few tasty little rug-rats I’d just LOVE to feed to a lion…….

    • paula

      Thank you!

    • skysky

      The cat was in the tree because it was lost and couldn’t find its way home but according to your logic, if it was relocated, it would be able to find its way back to this tree. Interesting. Care to cite the studies?

      • frank

        The cat wasn’t “lost” it’s a WILD ANIMAL. Where ever it sit its butt is home. Read up on mountain lions, they’re territorial. You relocate it to another lion’s area there will be problems. It will either be pushed out and possibly end up back where it was or push out another lion with the same results. Try looking up animal migration while you’re at it

  • imnotrich

    Has anyone considered how long it takes for tranquilizers to take effect?
    It’s not instantaneous.
    The lion would have plenty of time to scurry off and hurt someone.
    Tragic, but sometimes necessary to protect HUMANS.

  • Shaka

    Get a grip people. I’m sure you’re all so torn up about it…..until you move onto the next bit of local news.

  • Marc

    Pa-Lease… If the mountain lion had even eaten someone’s cat everyone would be upset that nothing was done, let alone hurting a human being. Get over it and go have some meat for lunch!!

  • EM

    I agree with everyone. They should of tranquilized it and moved it back to the woods. Killing an animal in there habitat is uncalled for! People living near the hills taking up precious land from the animals should expect to see moutain lions. We are the problem. I can just imagine the mountain lion freaking out seeing all these cops guns drawn and helicopters circling the air. If, we can’t co exist with the animals then get the hell out of there habitat.

    • imnotrich

      To which planet you would have us relocate?

      • Julie

        To Pluto. Oh, wait. Pluto’s not a planet anymore…….

      • EM

        to the planet Uranus

  • skysky

    So the trained marksmen can shoot it three times with bullets but wouldn’t be able to hit it once with a tranquilizer gun?

    As mountain lions are not uncommon in the wooded hilly areas of the bay area, why on earth aren’t the police and animal agencies prepared?

    The poor thing was probably hungry and looking for food.
    This is almost as bad as the baby deer that was cornered and then shot in the east bay.

  • Devin

    Its Called MURDER regardless of your opinion. You people that live in that neigbhorhood took this animals land, not the other way around. How dare police(also known as stupid children) treat this animal who was scared to death this way. Its also called DISCRIMINATION and is no different then some racist, its just called being a speciest.

    • Brian S.

      Ok, so if this animal was endangering you or your family and you had one chance meaning either the animal dies or you do, are you saying you would sacrifice yourself? No, because just like any other living creature your self preservation instinct kicks in, a tranq dart even if it hit would likely prove ineffective. And how dare you call out police, who by the way put their lives on the line for your safety every day regardless of your personal opinions of them, I think you need to get out of your little bubble and get a clue. To those who have the same opinion about this being unfair to the mountain lion, you need to get a clue as well, does it suck that the lion had to die, yes, but does it save lives, yes.

      • Pat

        Give us a break, life on the line?.. then why don’t they call some one in who doesn’t mind getting the job done?..and it’s always men on the force who shoot things. I wonder who took the head home and mounted it on the plaque??

  • Darwin

    Stupid, slow, lazy mountain lion. Wandering into developed, human residential area looking for easy prey. Just natural selection at work, nothing to see here people, move on.

    • Devin

      I would rather see a human killed, even someone I know then an animal. Some people use to talk the same way some of you are, back in the day, towards people of other races. Just cause you have your rights now doesn’t mean you should prevent another group from receiving the same. Animals are entitled to the same rights as humans. It just shows how ignorant and egotistical humans are to think ourselves or our families or our friends are more important then another species. Some of you are speciests, which is the same as a racist if you didn’t know.

    • LazerCat

      “The Law of Natural Selection”. Now isn’t that when some human moron gets run over by an train because he was walking on the tracks with his iPod at full volume, or goes to take photos of a tsunami and gets swept away? Or how about when a human of the same low I.Q. teases a Siberian tiger at a zoo, and gets killed by it?
      Law of Natural Selection. Mother Nature at work.

  • karen

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but really folks. Did anyone consider the fact this mountain lion could have made your animal, kid or friend part of the meal. Then what? Exactly! Who’s fault then.

  • b.l.

    sickening news. why kill the poor cat when there are obviously other options? google bay area mountain lion attacks and see stats for yourself. 0 attacks in california in recent years. sad.

  • Fleshwound

    Wish they would come to SF and take out some of the criminals that are preying on innocent people. It makes me sick! They could have sedated the cat and taken him to the woods. They must have the same training as the cops in the East Bay that killed that poor cornered deer and those people’s old lab. Disgusting!

  • j

    you people would think differently if it was in your neighborhood if somthing happened to one of your family members you would be blamind fish and game for not stopping it IT HAPPENS get over it it was the police that did the shooting and i dought they have the equipment to deal with a big cat

    • >

      j is an idiot.

  • j


  • Jenny

    The sad fact is that humans are increasingly encroaching on their habitat, whether in this immediate area or surrounding areas. An adult male mountain lion needs roughly 10 square miles of good habitat in order to mate and find ample food (females need a little less). Unfortunately there aren’t too many wild areas left.

    As to the comments about the lion being relocated–it sounds like a good idea but the cats are extremely territorial. This lion would have been relocated to another lion’s range and would likely end up killed by it. So in these cases, sadly, there aren’t many options.

  • Luigi

    Such an exagerated reaction, over reacting, and killing an innocent animal, and who pay for the cost!? the tax payers. So typical of residentes to be so ignorant, as well as the government, as to what was there before they moved in. Maybe this was a lion’s area for the them to meet and mate. We have such disregard for the environment, no wonder 97% of the old growth forest in California is gone! we have destroyed the natural habitat of these amazing creatures. Shame on use, these actiions are soulesss.

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