Bloomington, Minn. police kill cougar on public trail

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May. 31, 2002  

Bloomington police kill 100-pound mountain lion



BY JOHN WELBES, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS

Bloomington police shot and killed a 100-pound mountain lion Thursday evening after walkers on a popular trail came face-to-face with the snarling animal.

Police were called at about 8:30 p.m. to the area near 112th and Queen Avenue near Nine Mile Creek, where officers saw the mountain lion lying in underbrush just off the trail, said Lt. Jim Ryan of the Bloomington police.

"They threw some sticks and things at it," he said, trying to scare it off, "but it still doesn’t take off."

The cougar’s standoffish attitude in a populated area prompted the officers to shoot it, Ryan said. They used a .223-caliber rifle that they carry in the trunk of their car, shooting from about 30 yards away.

Thursday’s incident took place about 1.5 miles from a spot south of the Minnesota River in Savage where a Cargill employee took several photos of a cougar in early April.

Since 1999, Ryan said, Bloomington police have responded to about 10 cougar sightings. "We don’t run out and shoot every cougar that we see," Ryan said. "What made this unique was the inaction by the cougar."

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans to pick up the animal for testing. While it’s uncertain if the female cougar was wild or someone’s escaped pet, it did sport a full set of claws, which are sometimes removed by private owners of such cats.

The Bloomington neighborhood where the cat was shot sits above Nine Mile Creek and the north side of the Minnesota River Valley.
 

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