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California Briefing / Santa Paula

Officers shoot, kill mountain lion cub

February 18, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

Police officers shot and killed a mountain lion cub Tuesday after it charged officers who surrounded it.

Santa Paula Police Chief Steve MacKinnon said his department began receiving reports of mountain lions in hillside neighborhoods Friday and the reports continued over the weekend. On Sunday, police made two reverse 911 calls to residents in those neighborhoods.

A resident called police about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after seeing one of the cats in a yard in the 300 block of Dana Drive. MacKinnon said police set up a perimeter and called in officials from the state Department of Fish and Game. Before they arrived, a mountain lion cub weighing approximately 40 pounds approached one officer and then turned and ran toward another.

"They thought they were in imminent danger," MacKinnon said. "At that point, unfortunately, the mountain lion was shot and killed."

MacKinnon said police and Fish and Game officials believe there were five big cats -- two adults, a juvenile and two cubs -- in the area.

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