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Young Mountain Lion Shot In Downtown Santa Monica [UPDATED]

mountain_lion_shutterstock.jpg
Mountain Lion via Shutterstock
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Authorities said that they were forced to shoot and kill a young mountain lion that wandered into a Downtown Santa Monica building today after multiple unsuccessful efforts to contain it.

The animal was first seen by a janitor inside a commercial building in the 1200 block of Second Street, near the Santa Monica Promenade. Santa Monica Police surrounded the building and called State Fish and Game officers to the scene, according to City News Service.

The lost mountain lion, earlier reported as a baby, was later described as a young male, about 3 years old and 75 to 100 pounds, according to the Los Angeles Times.

After multiple attempts to tranquilize and contain the animal, authorities said that they were forced to shoot it.

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“Our hope is always to be able to return wild animals back to their natural habitat,” Department of Fish and Game Assistant Chief Paul Hamdorf said in a statement. “However, public safety is our number one priority. We appreciate the cooperation and assistance that the Santa Monica Police provided, and support the decisions that were made in the field.”

DFG staff, Santa Monica Police and the Santa Monica Fire Department used three non-lethal methods, including a tranquilizer dart, a pepper ball, and fire hoses to contain the mountain lion in an area until the tranquilizer took effect, according to authorities. When the lion began to run, and could not be contained, it was shot.

Editor's Note: This story and headline have been updated to reflect new information made available after the incident was first reported.

[UPDATE TIME 2:00 pm]
[UPDATE TIME 10:50 am]