Mountain Lion Shot to Death in Santa Monica

July 4, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. wander (v.)
 [won-der]  –  to get lost or leave one’s correct path or place
Example: In New Zealand, cows often escape from farms and wander onto roads.

2. subdue (v.) [suhb-doo, -dyoo] – to take control of someone or something ; to make something calm or quiet by force
Example: The policeman subdued the angry dog by giving it sleeping medicine.

3. lethal (adj.) [lee-thuhl] – able to kill or cause something to die; deadly
Example: A gun is a lethal weapon.

4. euthanize (v.) [yoo-thuh-nahyz] – to kill an animal or person to help them avoid suffering or pain
Example: Stray cats, or cats without owners, are often euthanized because there is no one to feed and care for them.

5. agitate (v.) [aj-i-teyt] – to cause someone to become angry or stressed
Example: Tapping the glass of the aquarium may agitate the fish.

Read the text below.

A 34 kilogram, three-year-old mountain lion was shot by officials in Santa Monica, California after it wandered into a popular shopping district in the vicinity of the beach area.

A janitor reported seeing a mountain lion along Third Street Promenade, which is a part of town with many shoppers and street performers in the daytime.

The Santa Monica Police and the California Fish and Games Warden responded to the janitor’s call. Fearing for the safety of the public, the officials trapped the animal inside the building and tried to subdue it.

Initially, they tried less lethal ways of subduing the mountain lion. They threw pepper balls and directed water hoses at the trapped mountain lion while waiting for the tranquilizer, a medicine that induces sleep, to take effect.

But none of the techniques seemed to work. To stop the mountain lion from going back out in the streets, officials had to euthanize the animal.

Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, says she and her organization were shocked by the way the situation was handled. She disapproves of how officials agitated and scared the animal before shooting it.

Although Santa Monica is located near mountains where wild animals live, Santa Monica police officer Calisse Lindsey says that in her 24 years of service, she has never heard of a wild mountain lion being found in such a busy part of town. Scientists believe that the animal may have just been looking for a home.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that the police did the right thing by killing the mountain lion? Why do you think so?
·         Should animals be protected even if they are dangerous or pose a threat to the safety of people? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think wild animals sometimes wander to cities or to places with many people?
What do you think people should do to prevent wild animals from wandering near where people live?


July 4, 2012