Almanac

News - September 11, 2013

New law protects mountain lions

Animal-control authorities now have a mandate to explore options other than lethal when dealing with mountain lions that visit residential areas but behave in non-threatening ways.

In signing a bill by state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 6 expanded the choices available to authorities from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and its partners, including the Peninsula Humane Society, veterinarians, zoos, colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations with the expertise to assist with mountain lion incidents.

Authorities must use non-lethal procedures — including capture, pursuit, anesthetizing, marking, transporting, hazing, relocating, rehabilitating and/or providing veterinary care — in resolving situations in which lions are not behaving aggressively and are not presenting an imminent threat to public health or safety, according to a statement from Sen. Hill's office.

Assemblymen Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, co-authored the bill.

The Peninsula Humane Society rescued 1,450 wild animals in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties over the previous 12 months, the statement says.

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