State Senator: Save Mountain Lions Lost On City Streets - FOX 35 News Orlando

State Senator: Save Mountain Lions Lost On City Streets

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Credit: The Mountain Lion Foundation Credit: The Mountain Lion Foundation
Los Angeles, CA -

A lot of us still remember the day a beautiful mountain lion came down from the hills and went for a walk on the streets of Santa Monica.

And while that is a rare occurrence, we are seeing it happen more and more and that's why State Senator Jerry Hill wants to enact a new law to help protect mountain lions.

It was May of 2012 when this majestic cat was first spotted in Santa Monica. And while everyone wondered how the cat got there, everyone was also hoping it would be captured safely and returned to the wild where it belonged.

But the story didn't have a happy ending. Officials say that when tranquilizers didn't work and the lion became aggressive, they had to shoot the animal dead.

And just last month, up north in Half Moon Bay, it happened again. Two young mountain lion cubs, weighing only about 30 pounds each and spotted hiding under the porch of a home, were shot and killed by game wardens.  

And just like with the Santa Monica lion, many were outraged and angered by what appeared to some as a last resort measure that was taken too quickly. That's why Senator Jerry Hill wants to change the law.

He will introduce legislation that would require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to utilize non-lethal options in these cases -- unless it's clear that the lion could cause immediate death or physical harm to humans.  

Sounds like a no brainer right? But apparently current state regulations don't give wardens much flexibility when mountain lions venture into areas populated by humans.

The mayor of Half Moon Bay says last month's killing of the cubs was a wake up call.

Meanwhile, Hill's legislation will also allow the CDFW to partner with wildlife groups and non-profits who are experienced in dealing with these wild animals can hopefully assist wardens in tranquilizing and trapping them.

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