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May 21, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, May 21, 2004

ReaderWire ReaderWire (May 21, 2004)

Concerning misfortune

The fate of the mountain lion is a misfortune that our communities must take with considerable concern.

My humble opinion is that Stanford could forestall the descent of wildlife onto the community by opening up the Dish to the dog community.

The scent of humans and canines could very well deter the lion from crossing the road or the creek.
Mimi Wolf
San Carlos Court, Palo Alto

Police not at fault

The shocking presence of a mountain lion in residential Palo Alto and its subsequent death will certainly be discussed for some time to come. The tragic killing of the animal has outraged many members of the community.

However, I believe it is unfair to fault the Palo Alto Police Department for the lion's death. None can argue how unfortunate the circumstance is (save for maybe hyena aficionados), but imagine the sorrow had the lion been shot with a tranquilizer (which can take quite a while to have effect), than somehow managed to flee and eventually maul someone's young son or daughter.

It's terribly sad that a creature of this magnificence and beauty died. But the Palo Alto police did it to protect the safety of Palo Alto residents, as any good police officer should do. Peace to the spirit of the slain mountain lion, and thanks to the safeguards of our peaceful city.
Daniel Rand
Park Boulevard, Palo Alto

Another way?

I am saddened and disappointed by the decision to hunt down and kill the stray mountain lion Monday (May 17). Although I can appreciate the danger it posed to our neighborhood, there must have been other ways of subduing the animal.

Where were the tranquilizer guns? The authorities had hours to obtain the correct materials -- the animal was spotted early Monday morning.

It was sleeping in the tree.

Lastly, why couldn't the animal be relocated to another area? I think the kill should have been a last resort, not the primary action taken.
Maryanne Steidinger
Greenwood Avenue, Palo Alto

Poor approach

As I watched the Palo Alto police kill a frightened mountain lion hiding in a tree, I did not feel safe and protected.

Instead, I felt angry and realized that anyone who has a gun is dangerous and should be feared even if they wear a uniform. I had hoped there might be a good explanation for their actions, but it appears to have simply been the quickest and easiest way to deal with the problem.

However, I believe the Palo Alto police have underestimated the backlash they will receive from the community about their actions. Palo Alto residents expect intelligent and humane solutions to animal control issues, not the shoot-and-kill approach that may be accepted in other areas.

I certainly hope the City of Palo Alto makes it a priority to develop an acceptable approach for future wild-animal incidents.
Jamie Jarvis
Greer Road, Palo Alto

Sickened reader

When I read in the Palo Alto Weekly (May 19) about the killing of a scared, confused mountain lion, obviously out of place and taking refuge in a tree after being chased, I was sickened.


Whoever made that decision made a wrong call. I'm offended by the folks, who are supposed to protect animals in Palo Alto, rationalizing it on the basis of child-safety rhetoric. Killing that animal was wrong.
Andrew L. Freedman
Verdosa Drive, Palo Alto

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