The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column-inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
Curated by Carl Marshall and Olivia McCarthy
Sunday, 17 May 2015
NEWSLINK: Injured Mountain Lion Shot 16 Times By Police Who Say They Were ‘Ending Its Suffering'
On Wednesday, an injured mountain lion, which laid outside the entrance to a southwest Omaha office building, was shot by three police officers using handguns and shotguns.
The mountain lion was spotted around 5 p.m. outside of Project Harmony located near 120th and Q Streets. The building houses the department’s detectives that work cases that involve physical and sexual assaults of children, reports Omaha.com.
Officers state that after the first shot, the mountain lion rose up, so they opened fire until the big cat “posed no further threat to public safety and to end its suffering,” Officer Kevin Wiese, an Omaha police spokesman, wrote in a statement.
According to officials, the mountain lion was a male that weighed an estimated 120 pounds. The mountain lion had a broken leg and was immobile.
The officers say that the decision to shoot the mountain lion was reached after “deliberation with experts.” Police say that the consulted the Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Game and Parks, and the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.
“It was determined that the appropriate action was to euthanize the animal,” Wiese said.
Officials said that tranquilizing the mountain lion was not an option because it was unclear how the big cat would have reacted. It is the commission’s protocol to euthanize mountain lions that are found in the metropolitan area.
A petition on Care2.com has been started asking for justice for the murdered mountain lion and for state wildlife policies to be updated.
The petition reads as follows.
“Last week, an injured mountain lion hobbled into Omaha, Nebraska, looking for help. He did not expect such a harsh welcome.
Suffering from a broken leg, the big cat curled up under a shelter of a building’s wall. One resident took a photo of the animal while he was asleep.
Officials stepped in. But rather saving the cat, they destroyed it, in accordance with Nebraska’s outdated wildlife policy, which states that all mountain lions that set foot into town must be put down. No questions asked.
Local law enforcement surrounded the big cat and shot it 16 times. The injured animal had no chance to escape. Officers were not even aware the animal was injured – they only discovered this after an inspection of the body was carried out.
A similar situation was encountered in Los Angeles. The outcome was different, however. Police officers got together and spend hours trying to move the big cat to a safe place. Law enforcement officers received a large cheer from the crowd after the operation was successfully completed.
Tim Dunbar, an executive director of the Mountain Lion Foundation, was extremely disappointed by the decision taken by local police: ‘The mountain lion posed no threat. We’ve seen the news reports, we’ve read all the stories and all we see are a lot of excuses’.
Please sign the petition and urge the Nebraska authorities to update the state’s wildlife policy. Attempts to rehabilitate the animals that end up in the city and get them to a safe place should be a top priority. Act now and tell authorities that each life is important. These outdates policies need to be scrapped to prevent further loss of lives!”
The petition has gathered 3,812 signatures so far.