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Mountain lion shot by police after going on the run in US dies in surgery

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A mountain lion that was shot by police in California has died in surgery.

The young male – believed to be about a year old – had been spotted on the front porch of a house in Hollister, about 100 miles south of San Francisco, early on Friday morning.

Police were called and officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tried to tranquilise the animal.

A spokesman said the initial aim had been to return the mountain lion to its habitat.

He added: “We did not consider the mountain lion to be a public safety threat. It had not acted aggressively.”

But the lion ran out of a bush towards a police officer, prompting their two colleagues to shoot it.

The Hollister Police Department said: “We could not place the life of the animal above human life, which is why the officers fired their rifles at the scene.”

The 34kg (75lb) lion jumped over a fence into a nearby garden, where it was tranquilised again and taken to veterinarians at Oakland Zoo.

A young male mountain lion, which officials say was shot by police earlier in the day in Hollister, California, awaits emergency surgery in the radiology room at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California, U.S., August 26, 2022. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino

Despite emergency surgery, the the animal did not survive.

Before the surgery, Dr Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at the zoo, said of the lion: “He’s beautiful, in great condition, well-fed, everything good.

“Probably just a young guy questing for turf, like they do at that age.”

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