Mountain lion shot in Redwood City neighborhood


At 8:30 a.m. Redwood City police knocked on Wally and Cherie Oliver's door looking for, of all things, a mountain lion.

"They asked if they could go into the backyard as part of their search and they found it," said Mr. Oliver. "We have two fences in the back about two feet of room between them and it had gotten in there."

The female mountain lion was trapped between two fences after previously jumping from one house to the next. The Olivers stayed in their home, but could see the animal from 20 feet away.

"All I could see was its big face coming between a couple of slats in the fence and [hiss sound]," said Mrs. Oliver.

According to a Dept. of Fish and Game spokesperson, because of the slats, it was impossible to get a clear shot using the tranquilizer gun.

"If we don't have an accurate shot, the mountain lion could get out angry," said Lt. Todd Ajari. "It was already hissing at the homeowners and the people in the backyard."

Redwood City police did not want to risk the safety of the people in this community.

"We've got a hospital that is just up the road from us here, there's a small park that's located up there," said Capt. Dan Mullholland with Redwood City police. "We've got Alameda de las Pulgas which is a major thoroughfare in Redwood City."

So at 11 a.m. the Dept. of Fish and Game decided there was no other option but to shoot the animal. It was then taken away.

"It weighed over 100 pounds, he thought. They picked it up and put it in the bag," said Mr. Oliver. "It was a big cat."

In 2004, Palo Alto police shot a mountain lion that was spotted running through backyards and streets. A dog chased it into a tree, which is where police shot it. The city later received hundreds of complaints. When neighbors in the Berkeley hills expressed concerns about mountain lions in their neighborhood, wildlife biologists encouraged residents to live and let live with the animals.

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