Oakland Zoo responds after police defend fatal shooting of mountain lion

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Monday, August 29, 2022
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The Oakland Zoo is responding after a Facebook post about a mountain lion fatally shot by Hollister police turned into a social media controversy.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Oakland Zoo is responding after a Facebook post about a mountain lion turned into a social media controversy.

On Friday, the zoo posted video of the mountain lion being brought in for emergency surgery.

It had been shot by police after it was found roaming through a neighborhood in Hollister.

RELATED: Mountain lion found trapped inside Bay Area high school classroom taken to Oakland Zoo for treatment

The Facebook post generated hundreds of comments, with many condemning police over their decision to shoot the animal.

Hollister police countered with a Facebook post of their own, saying the Oakland Zoo failed to mention that the mountain lion charged at an officer after wildlife officials tried several times to tranquilize it.

Hollister Police called the zoo's post "careless" and "misleading," adding added that officers "operated and acted thoughtfully in the best interests of every living being, both animal and human. Everyone at the scene acted admirably."

WATCH: Video shows pair of mountain lions stroll through San Mateo neighborhood

On Sunday, the Oakland Zoo responded in a statement:

"Our posting stated the facts as reported to us by our partners at CDFW; CDFW was attempting to dart the lion and the lion was shot by local PD during the joint effort. Hollister PD was not named by us, nor judged by us, and we understand HPD has since issued multiple statements around why shots were fired by their officers based on their account - and we respect that. As a zoo focused on wildlife conservation and education, our message and focus in sharing news of this tragedy was to educate the public about the growing issues around human-wildlife conflict, and nothing more."

The mountain lion died during surgery.

The Oakland Zoo says this is the 20th mountain lion in need of their help following close contact with humans.

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