Officers’ shooting of mountain lion brings dispute between Oakland Zoo, Hollister police

Right after a mountain lion died during an crisis surgical procedure at the Oakland Zoo on Friday, a heated exchange took spot on social media among the zoo and the Hollister Police Division, which shot the cougar in a residential region immediately after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife failed to tranquilize it.

“The lion had been spotted in a residential community of San Benito County, and although trying to properly seize him, he was shot by local PD though CDFW was trying to dart him with a tranquilizer,” the Oakland Zoo said in posts on Fb and Twitter on Friday afternoon.

The Oakland Zoo has all over 133,000 followers on Fb and practically 700 individuals commented on the Friday article, several of them outraged that the puma died soon after becoming shot and a several commenters heading as much as to simply call the law enforcement officers involved “murderers.”

Significantly less than two hrs after the zoo’s submit, the Hollister Police Office commented multiple instances, stating the facts of what transpired ended up inaccurately recounted by the zoo.

“This article is deceptive, careless, and irresponsible offered your wide system,” the Hollister Law enforcement Division reported. “We are happy of our officers and their thoughtfulness and tolerance in hoping to resolve this problem without resorting to using lethal pressure.”

They referred to as for the Oakland Zoo to retract its feedback, but the zoo did not react.

The Hollister Police Section explained a concerned resident known as them just ahead of 5 a.m. Friday and claimed seeing a mountain lion on their front porch. Police reported they immediately called for back again-up from the California Division of Fish and Wildlife, which sent two wildlife officers to the scene with tranquilizer medication and an air-driven dart rifle.

“Wildlife officers tried to produce two tranquilizer darts into the animal without having accomplishment,” the Police Section stated on Fb. “The mountain lion charged from the bush instantly in direction of a law enforcement officer stationed in an hard work to hold it contained.”

Fearing for their lives, law enforcement mentioned, two officers fired their rifles at the puma and wounded it as it jumped a fence and retreated into a bush in which the wildlife officers had been able to tranquilize it.

The mountain lion experienced a gunshot wound to the stomach and was transferred to the Oakland Zoo for therapy, police mentioned.

The Oakland Zoo released a assertion Sunday addressing the Hollister Police Department’s accusations.

“Our publishing said the specifics as documented to us by our partners at CDFW,” mentioned Erin Harrison, vice president of marketing and communications at the Oakland Zoo. “Hollister PD was not named by us, nor judged by us, and we realize HPD has because issued multiple statements all over why shots were being fired by their officers primarily based on their account — and we regard that.”

In its original Facebook publish, the zoo noted that Friday’s lion was the 20th that has occur to the facility for assistance owing to human-wildlife conflict considering that 2017.

“As a zoo targeted on wildlife conservation and instruction, our information and concentration in sharing information of this tragedy was to educate the general public about the expanding problems about human-wildlife conflict, and nothing at all a lot more,” Harrison claimed.

Alexandria Bordas (she/they) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff members author. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @CrossingBordas