Rally held in Santa Monica in protest of fatal shooting of mountain lion


"We are here today to prevent animals from being needlessly killed in the future," said Mary Cummins, president of Animal Advocates.

A call to action from animal advocates upset over last week's shooting death of a mountain lion that wandered into the urban jungle of Santa Monica.

"We are outraged and fed up with the violence and so are others here and around the world," said Bill Dyer, director of Southern California In Defense of Animals.

Santa Monica Police and officials with the California Department of Fish and Game responded to the scene last week when a 3-year-old male mountain lion wandered into a courtyard of a building in Santa Monica.

They say they tried to subdue the cat with fire hoses and pepper-balls, but ended up euthanizing the animal after it continued to charge in an effort to get away.

Animal advocates said the mountain lion didn't need to die. Now they want the Santa Monica Police Dept. to create a new protocol that would bring in local wildlife experts like Dr. Jennifer Conrad. The Santa Monica-based veterinarian says she's anesthetized some 500 cats over the last several years.

"My call is for the police department and for the Department of Fish and Game to use the resources that you have living in this big city and let us help you. We can do it. And then wildlife doesn't have to die because of the misfortune of winding up in one of our cities," said Conrad.

Santa Monica Police did not immediately comment on the news conference held by the animal rights groups outside of City Hall.

In earlier released statements, police insisted they had no choice but to shoot the animal because the mountain lion could have run in the direction of the heavily populated streets nearby.

Santa Monica police officers did try to anesthetize the mountain lion, but animal activists say they didn't wait long enough for it to work.

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