Opinion’s piece

Instead of choosing the route of peace, the Santa Clara County Police chose violence and cruelly killed a mountain lion that strayed into a residential area near Stevens Creek County Park on Saturday.

Rather than using tranquilizer darts to peacefully take the lion down and return it into the wild, the police opted to take the “easy way out,” according to one resident, and chose to ruthlessly shoot the creature instead of taking the time to figure out a plan where the animal could have left unharmed.

With the argument that the use of a tranquilizer could have made the beast grow aggressive and pose a threat to residents on the scene, what other plans could have been used?

The police could have used the emergency dial-up alert system to warn residents to stay with their children indoors, before tranquilizing the lion.

Yes, according to California Fish & Game, a tranquilizer could have made the lion aggressive, and would take 25 minutes or longer to take effect.

But if no residents were nearby, the police could have thought out a tactical plan to capture the lion and release it into the wild.

According to sccgov.org, mountain lions are, “quite, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people.” The site says that if a mountain lion advances towards someone and threatens people, it should be killed, “immediately”

Yet this lion was simply lounging in a tree threatening no individual. Therefore the decision to shoot the harmless lion was uncalled for.

One instruction posted on scccgov.org that describes how to scare off a mountain lion, says that a person should make loud noises, try to appear bigger, and throw objects at the lion.

Surely if all the police combined their efforts and attempted this maneuver, they would have been able to successfully scare the lion into an animal safe car and return it into the mountains.

Perhaps if the Santa Clara County police squad offered courses that taught alternative methods to dealing with mountain lions without having to kill them, more lions in the future would be spared, and fewer deaths could be prevented.


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