Public Outcry After Police Shoot Injured Mountain Lion in Omaha

Last week, Omaha police responded to a call that an injured mountain lion was outside the entrance to an office building located near 120th and Q Street. Three police officers arrived and shot the mountain lion using handguns and shotguns, opening fire once the animal rose after the first shot. Officer Kevin Wiese, an Omaha police spokesperson, told The Inquisitor that officers needed to take immediate action so the cat "posed no further threat to public safety and to end its suffering."

Officers say that the decision to kill the mountain lion was reached after discussing the situation with the Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Game and Parks, and the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. According to The Inquisitor, it is the commission's procedure to euthanize mountain lions that are found in the metropolitan area. This one was estimated to be 120 lbs and suffering from a broken leg, which made it immobile.

While euthanizing the animal may have been standard protocol, a petition has been launched by Care2.com, asking for justice for the mountain lion and for state wildlife policies to be updated. The petition states that the animal was shot 16 times, which seems excessive when euthanizing an animal. It alludes to a similar incident in California where officers rescued an injured mountain lion rather than killing it. The petition currently has over 6,000 signatures.