Proposed Law Seeks to Avoid Repeat of Mountain Lion Shooting

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife responds when animals pose a threat to public safety. The problem, according to State Senator Jerry Hill, is that wardens don't have much flexibility in how to deal with potentially dangerous animals--for instance, when two mountain lion cubs were shot in Half Moon Bay last November.

"Current guidelines limit wardens' discretion, and often really force them to kill mountain lions even if humans aren't at risk and there's no threat to public safety at all," Hill said. "They don't have the tools in their toolbox to deal with it."

Hill is sponsoring a bill that would require game wardens to use non-lethal options when animals don't present an immediate threat, and would allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to partner with non-profits that have experience and tools for managing wild animals.

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