Some Berkeleyans, saddened by the mountain lion shot by police early Tuesday morning, have established an informal memorial to the animal at Shattuck and Cedar.
As Berkeleyside has reported previously, wildlife experts say that the Berkeley police had little choice but to shoot the animal. Tranquillizers are not readily available, even for Fish and Game patrols, and a tranquillized animal can become an even greater danger.
An open letter from Zara McDonald, executive director of the Felidae Conservation Fund, an organization dedicated to “excellence in wild cat research, education, and conservation” also supported the police response:
The police on the scene Tuesday morning responded as well as one could expect. This is such an abnormal event, that any response must be to ensure the safety of the community. There were many variables to consider in the difficult situation that required immediate action, calling upon the judgement of the officers at the scene. California’s Department of Fish and Game has recently completed a video specifically to help guide law enforcement agencies facing such situations, and is in the process of distributing it to agencies throughout the state.
Berkeleyside has contacted Fish and Game about the planned necroscopy of the shot mountain lion. According to warden Patrick Foy, the necroscopy will most likely be held when there are a number of animals for examination.