In response to a passionate community reaction to a mountain lion shooting in a Redwood City neighborhood, the Felidae Conservation Fund hosted a community meeting with various authorities, including the California Department of Fish and Game.
The March 29 incident sparked a amongst residents who believed authorities acted hastily and those who believed they correctly placed human safety first.
"This is a reality check," said Zara McDonald, Executive Director of Felidae Conservation Fund. "The authorities acted with the appropriate response given the circumstances."
However, McDonald said the system isn't without flaws. She believes all departments, local and at the state level, could have better training in how to handle situations such as the incident on March 29.
Bay Area wildlife biologist James “Doc” Hale suggested that all agencies involved form a response matrix to better handle future situations.
Redwood City Police Capt. Dan Mulholland explained that this wasn’t the police “looking for target practice,” as some residents suggested, but a sequence of carefully, but quickly, thought-out decisions that played out in a three-hour time frame.
Cherie Oliver, whose property the mountain lion roamed onto, said that people who were quick to judge the authorities' actions had no idea what exactly occurred in her backyard.
"They did a fantastic job of responding," Oliver said. "I would never want to put my neighbors' safety at risk. They had to make a choice, and sadly, the mountain lion had to die."
The incident occurred around 8:15 a.m., a high traffic time when many children head to school.
Mountain lion sightings are not uncommon and authorities have multiple tips for human-animal interaction and what to do should an individual encounter a puma. Check out the two videos from the Department of Fish and Game for more information about these marvelous, yet often times misunderstood, creatures.