The California Department of Fish and Game released the results of the necropsies conducted on the remains of two mountain lions shot by law enforcement in Half Moon Bay on the first of December 2012. Far from the subadult cats that officials had feared would threaten the public, these were kittens a third the size and age originally estimated.
In their press release, the Department admitted that they hope to learn from the experience. "I regret this unfortunate incident in Half Moon Bay for all involved," said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham.
MLF's Executive Director, Tim Dunbar, was mentioned in the press release, which noted that recent meetings between the Director of the Department and the Mountain Lion Foundation are preparatory for a proposed review by the department of the department's responses to interactions with mountain lions. That review may be available as early as January.
In response to MLF's action alert, letters and emails by many MLF members have helped to keep this tragic incident from being just brief newsbite, and the sad deaths of these two kittens may have some meaning if they have moved the director's office of CDFG in the direction of real change.
Dunbar notes that "The necropsy results reinforce our opinion that fundamental changes are needed in the way the department assesses risk and handles percieved public safety issues with mountain lions."