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'Baby' mountain lion killed by authorities in Santa Monica office courtyard: Was killing the only option?

Photo by Santa Monica Police Department via PatrickNBCLA/Twitter

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We’ve all heard of wild animals like deers and bears wandering into human residential or commercial territory. Such was the case early this morning when a juvenile female mountain lion found its way into the courtyard of an office building in Santa Monica, California.

“Because the Santa Monica Mountains are completely isolated by either the ocean, or by either the 101 and development, we often see young males end up right against developments and freeways, etc.," said wildlife ecologist Seth Riley. "And it looks like—you know, we can’t read their minds, of course—but it seems like they’re trying to get somewhere else."

A lost wild animal is often scared off, chased away, or relocated by animal control responders; however, today’s incident ended fatally with the killing of the lost young mountain lion by authorities.

Officers reportedly killed the cat out of concern for public safety after they tried to tranquilize it. After being tranquilized (unsuccessfully), the mountain lion continued its attempts to escape before officers killed it, according to police reports.

Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area, said it probably got lost.


Was killing the mountain lion the only way to ensure public safety?


Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; adjunct professor, UCLA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology