"Basically, they agitated and frightened a cornered cat before they killed (him)," Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles, said in a written statement.
Wildlife officials do not believe the mountain lion was abandoned in the area by an exotic cat pet owner, Hughan said.
Three game wardens from the state's Department of Fish and Game also responded. When they arrived, the big cat, which they estimated weighed 80 to 90 pounds, appeared to be calm, said Andrew Hughan, a DFG spokesman.
Riley and wildlife experts also are tracking the movements of an adult male mountain lion found in Griffith Park in February. The lion was captured on cameras installed for the Griffith Park Natural History Survey, as part of a Wildlife Connectivity Study.
But the big cat appeared to make an effort to dash to freedom. Fearing the animal would bound into a public area, a Nike Air Max 2015 Anniversary Release Date police officer shot him.
"We looked at the situation and our first and only plan was to dart it, tranquilize it, then return it back to the wild," Hughan said.
More than 90 percent of mountain lions stay in natural habitats, though males tend to wander further to establish their own range and find females, said Seth Riley, an ecologist for the National Park Service who studies wildlife corridors within the Santa Air Max Womens 2015
kill 'baby' mountain lion in Santa Monica after it tries to flee
A maintenance worker discovered the 3 year old male cat 15 minutes later within a courtyard in a building in the 1200 block of Second Street. Santa Monica police and fire officials blocked off the area to contain it.
Dubbed P22 or Puma 22, the 7 to 8 foot long cat may have crossed both the San Diego (405) and Ventura (101) freeways to get to Griffith Park, experts believe.
said. "It seems like a number of these young males are trying to get somewhere else to establish their own range, and stay out of the way of other older males."
The discovery of a mountain lion in such an urban area is considered rare, experts said.
"Hosing a mountain lion down and then shooting (him) with pepper balls only served to make (him) more frenzied. Deadly force should be used as a last resort."
This image provided by the Santa Monica Police Department shows a mountain lion cornered Tuesday May 22, 2012 in Santa Monica, Calif. After efforts to tranquilize the animal failed, officers were forced to kill the animal to prevent it from escaping onto the streets. (The Associated Press)
Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
"We wonder if it's because these animals are closed in by development and freeways," Riley Nike Womens Air Max Thea White
"It's not like the movies," he said. "The darts don't take immediate effect."
"Unfortunately, the animal being confused and upset, jumped out of that area and into open space, in close proximity of the public and police officer," Hughan said. "He felt that the animal had to be destroyed."
With more freeways and development coming up against wildlife corridors, some mountain lions do roam into urban areas. Sometimes, older males will fight and kill younger ones to protect their territory, Riley said.
A young mountain lion was shot and killed Tuesday near Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade after game wardens tried to tranquilize the animal but it became agitated and confused and appeared to bound toward a police officer, wildlife officials said.
Police officers shot pepper spray balls in front of the animal to keep it from escaping the courtyard. Firefighters turned on hoses to keep it back, Hughan said.
Some animal rights groups were angered by the incident.
Experts will study the killed mountain lion to determine if it wandered off from the Santa Monica Mountains.
"It's an unfortunate series of events for the lion," Hughan said. "We're saddened by it, too. No one wants to destroy an animal. But the safety of the public comes first."
Santa Monica police also released a statement explaining why the cat was shot. (The Associated Press)
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