Video: Authorities Kill Mountain Lion in Sunland

Fish and Game officials shot and killed a mountain lion in nearby Sunland.

An 80-pound mountain lion was fatally shot by Fish and Game officials near the Angeles National Forest in Sunland, according to KTLA5

Sunland resident Marleen Hitt saw the large cougar near her garage Friday afternoon and called 911, KTLA reported.

The 2 to 3-year-old animal hid near bushes in a yard when police shot at the cougar to make it run away.

"I heard five shots spread out, then I knew that they had found it," Hitt said. 

The warden arrived and shot the mountain lion, according to KTLA. 

"The game warden felt that the situation warranted the most extreme measure for the safety of the lion, the safety of the people around it," Andrew Hughan of California Fish and Game said. 

Officials say that this case was different from the  

"Shooting an animal with a dart is not like the movies. you hit the animal, the animal becomes very aggitated, very angry, very quickly. And it doesn't just fall down in one minute and go to sleep," Hughan said. 

Altadena also sees occasional visits from mountain lions, bears, and other wildlife.  A similiar issue over whether to kill wildlife getting too close to a residential neighborhood also arose in Altadena last summer when it was revealed that the county had killed seven coyotes in Altadena.


Dottie Burns April 25, 2012 at 05:41 PM
We have encroched on their territory and therefore we need to learn to live with them instead of killing them. They have a right in these hill and if we want to live there too, we need to keep food in the house instead of outside. Have you ever looked at the beautiful face of a Mountain Lion or Bob Cat?
Bonnie Robb April 25, 2012 at 06:32 PM
"The game warden felt that the situation warranted the most extreme measure for the safety of the lion, the safety of the people around it," Um, yes, the safety of the lion is quite ensured now that its frickin DEAD. This is an disgustingly disappointing outcome. Nice to know that my tax dollars are hard at work paying F&G to be a bunch of trigger-happy, wildlife-hating, big-game-hunting yahoos. WTG boys...took five of you to blow away a scared animal. Now you can go suck down some beer and donuts and talk about how awesome you are. What a disgrace. I, personally, would feel much "safer" if someone took away your jobs and your guns and put you on the unemployment line. Disgusting.
Natalie April 25, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I agree, this is shocking and disgraceful. The animal wasn't given a chance! I hope there will be outrage over this. Mountain lions really don't want to attack people - they're after smaller prey. I wonder if this happened in one of those new housing areas recently built right up against the forest?
Lorraine Pozniak April 25, 2012 at 08:47 PM
It took 5 shots for them to hit it? Yikes... And that, "Shooting an animal with a dart is not like the movies..." comment is just to cover their butts & rationalize the fact that they know nothing about animal behavior & they're not very good at hitting a moving target. Hire a veteran back from Iraq or a kid who plays Call of Duty all day for the job. That animal did not have to be killed. They could've tranquilized it easily, if they would've had skill, patience & respect for the animal. Friday was a hot day, and they obviously didn't want to be out in that heat. Technically, it was a baby; not much bigger than a large dog. Isn't there a regulation regarding killing young animals? Oh, I forgot...the people who killed this animal are ABOVE THE LAW...
Altadena Cycling Gal April 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Sad and senseless : (
michele Zack April 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Wildlife and game officials acted wildly irresponsible in killing the mountain lion. They are more out of control than this poor animal, who surely could have been scared away or tranquilized. Ball cal. Shame. But I suppose no accountability. . .
Lisa Hastings April 26, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Watch the video and see how this mountain lion which was the size of a dog was no threat at all. This lady lives in an obviously wild area right next to the forest and calls 911 because she sees a mountain lion. I grew up in a similar area next to a mountain and my mom would scare all kinds of wildlife off of our property, including bobcats and coyotes, by banging pots and pans. There was even a mountain lion or two that wandered onto our property and no one called 911. I cannot believe someone would call 911 on wildlife wandering into their property next to the national forest. Unless, of course, they are under the mistaken impression that the authorities will act humanely and re-located the animal. Watch the video. It wasn't just a regular backyard. The mountain lion was in a wild area. What an outrage. Fish and Game needs to change their policies and go back to school and study animal behavior.
Robby April 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I still haven't forgiven F&G for shooting that basically tame tiger that had gotten loose in Simi Valley a few years ago. They can't be arsed to do something about Rambro, but they're falling all over each other for the chance to make a legal kill. If you value wildlife, don't call 911 when you see it.
lonnie fehr April 26, 2012 at 06:22 PM
hi i agree totally with you bonnie . couldnt use a dart bull shi# . there not pulling the wool over my eyes . theres been a poacher here in area for years , which they do nothing ...drive around in there trucks . fish games lazy way to take care of something .
lonnie fehr April 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
i hope someone pushes this , investigation etc etc etc . or even legal charges filed ..
lonnie fehr April 26, 2012 at 06:33 PM
ps California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards [ hunter kills ] mountain lion in utah . was this order to kill lion come from this guy ,,,,,,,,
Lori Paul April 26, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The woman who called 911 simply because she saw a cougar around her home? She greatly overreacted. She has undoubtedly had cougars and other stealthy predators present on her property for years, she just hasn't seen them before. In actuality, when you SEE a cougar is not the problem. These big cats hunt by stealth and that cat could've easily stalked the women from total concealment, if that was its intent. Instead, the mt. lion was merely present, possibly curious or resting and she caught sight of it. Frightening that young cougar away from proximity to homes and potential human conflict would've been appropriate. Sedating & relocating the cougar was feasible, assuming DF&G had appropriate equipment, skill and back-up from law enforcement. The description of what happens when a cougar is hit by a dart was greatly exaggerated. Cornering and shooting the cat dead was unnecessary. As others have stated, if that resident is afraid of the wildlife all around her home (even deer, when frightened, can be very dangerous), then she should move back into an urban area. I hope she regrets what happened. She lives in cougar (+ bear, coyote, bobcat, snake, etc.) country and should learn to coexist with the wildlife her hillside neighborhood displaced. This was tragic.
On Wings Of Care April 26, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I'm happy to see all these comments! I frightened a large adult (~150-lb) cougar out of my front yard by yelling at him from a distance of 20 feet. And frightened another one off who was dragging my 85-lb german shepherd by the neck just by yelling at him and hitting him over the head with my lightweight slipper; this while he had his teeth sunk into the warm bleeding flesh of my dog! What kind of professional DFG man needs to shoot five bullets at a small (80-lb) cougar to frighten him or her away? Who's the dangerous entity here? I think it's the impotent, over-reactive, trigger-happy humans who harm both wildlife and humans by furthering these senseless fears and behaviors. --Bonny@OnWingsOfCare.org
Gary Edwards April 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM
compare/contrast how it's done in colo. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/bear-falls-safely-tree-tranquilized-police-photo-211524912.html
Nico April 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Agree. The agents should be questioned about their behavior and those who called be educated about living w. wildlife. This is a horrible incident, just after a mountain lion was found dead with its paws cut off on the freeway. The small animal might even have been its young offspring..confused and lost.
Robby April 27, 2012 at 04:28 AM
A gang of Fish and Game guys armed to the teeth. Diminutive Bonny, completely alone in the forest, armed with a slipper. Could the contrast be any greater? It's comic and painful at the same time. Maybe it's too much to expect that other people who deal with wildlife have Bonny's courage and understanding.


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