With input from animal-rights groups and local veterinarians, the Santa Monica Police Department says it has developed a new plan to handle wildlife that wanders into the city.
Its new response plan, announced Thursday night, includes notifying experts, obtaining appropriate equipment and tools related to wildlife capture and pre-incident training for first response personnel
The department was under pressure after it just one block from the Third Street Promenade on May 22. The puma had trekked into the city from the Santa Monica Mountains, where biologists say the .
Police officers and state Fish and Game wardens attempted to subdue the lion with a tranquilizer, but were unsuccessful. The animal tried to charge out of the courtyard, so authorities blasted the glass doors with a fire hose and fired pepper-balls, Sgt. Richard Lewis has said.
"Basically, they ,'' Madeline Bernstein, president of spcaLA, said last month. "Deadly force should be used only as a last resort."
The new plan—drafted after a meeting Monday with a focus group organized in response to the killing—also includes ongoing support of efforts toward achieving long-term solutions to reduce the likelihood of wildlife entering densely populated urban environments, Lewis said.