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Mountain lion killed in downtown Santa Monica, California!

Police shot and killed a male mountain lion early today in a downtown Santa Monica (Google Map) office building courtyard after attempts to try to subdue the cat using tranquilizers and a pepper ball. The mountain lion was discovered at about 6 AM by a janitor in the courtyard near an open-air man, the Third Street Promenade (Google Map), which is just a couple of blocks from the beach! Nobody knows how the mountain lion wound up in the middle of the city. The National Park Service has monitored mountain lions with GPS collars and cameras in the Santa Monica Mountains, which are more than two miles away.

Adult male mountain lions have a typical home range of about 200 square miles.

Jeff Sikich, a biologist working on the long-term study for the National Park Service, said a mountain lion had never been seen in the area where the cougar was found.

There are currently about 10 mountain lions in the Santa Monica range but the lion killed in the city was not among those previously known, he said.

Mountain lions are sighted hundreds of teims a year in California, but attacks on humans are rare. There have only been 16 attacks on humans in the state between 1890 and 2007. There are currently about 10 mountain lions in the Santa Monica range, but the mountain lion killed is not among those known previously.

Sikich, who arrived after the killing, took some of the mountain lion’s hair for genetic testing, to see whether it is related to other lions of the Santa Monica range, which are trapped by freeways to the north and east, an ocean to the south, and a large agricultural plain to the west, and thus, lack genetic diversity.

-Bill at

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