Mountain Lion Shot Dead In California

By: CNN (Posted by Carissa Fox)
By: CNN (Posted by Carissa Fox)

(CNN) -- Authorities in Santa Monica, California, fatally shot a mountain lion Tuesday, acting on public safety concerns after it tried to escape from an office building courtyard in the city.

Initial efforts to tranquilize the animal failed, and "police were forced to use lethal force to prevent that animal from escaping the courtyard and endangering the public," a police statement said.

Authorities had used water hoses and "less than lethal" pepper ball rounds in an effort to contain the mountain lion, which was thought to be a juvenile that weighed just under 100 pounds.

The animal was first reported just before 6 a.m. in downtown Santa Monica after a maintenance worker spotted it, the statement said.

Mountain lion spottings are common in Southern California this time of year, though typically occur away from densely populated areas, according to Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.

CNN's Chuck Conder contributed to this report

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