Police shot a wild mountain lion that charged toward officers who were trying to contain the animal in a residential area early Friday morning, according to authorities. The animal is being treated for at least one gunshot wound to its abdomen.

About 4:42am Aug. 26, a resident on the 1400 block of Diablo Drive in southeast Hollister called police to report a mountain lion on the home’s front porch, according to the Hollister Police Department.

Local police requested help from California Fish and Wildlife, which sent two wildlife officers to the scene. The wildlife officers were equipped with tranquilizer medication and an air-powered dart rifle, says a press release from Hollister PD.

Hollister PD issued a shelter-in-place order using phone and social media communications. Police evacuated the home that was immediately adjacent to the animal, authorities said.

Wildlife officers fired two tranquilizer darts at the mountain lion “without success,” police said. The mountain lion “charged from the bush directly toward a police officer (who was) stationed in an effort to keep it contained,” says the press release. “Fearing for the life and safety of the officer, two officers fired their rifles at the mountain lion.”

The frightened animal jumped a fence to a neighbor’s yard and fled into another bush, authorities said. Fish and Wildlife officers again delivered tranquilizer darts toward the mountain lion, this time striking the animal.

After the tranquilizer dart hit the mountain lion, it was “successfully sedated and safely removed from the area,” the press release says.

Hollister Police and a California Fish and Wildlife officer are pictured at the scene of a mountain lion sighting in Hollister Aug. 26. Photo courtesy of Hollister Police Department.

Authorities examined the animal and determined it had suffered at least one bullet wound to the abdomen. The mountain lion was further examined by a State of California veterinarian by teleconference, after which authorities decided to transport the animal to the Oakland Zoo for treatment.

Hollister Police Chief Carlos Reynoso said the mountain lion’s gunshot wound “didn’t appear to be life threatening.” He added that the animal was hit with “multiple” tranquilizer darts before it could be safely subdued. 

Hollister PD said in the press release, “We involved Fish and Wildlife out of care and concern for the animal, and attempting to remove the animal from a residential area safely, but also knew this was a potentially life-threatening situation for our residents. We are enormously grateful for their assistance. Ultimately, however, we could not place the life of the animal above human life, which is why the officers fired their rifles at the scene.”

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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