An injured mountain lion who stumbled into town had the worst possible welcome from Nebraska Police officers.
According to media reports, the majestic animal was spotted about 5 p.m. outside Project Harmony in Nebraska.
The big cat, a male weighing about 120 pounds, was suffering from a broken leg and curled up in a sheltered area before being spotted by employees. The picture shows him fast asleep, tucked into a corner of the building.
“The mountain lion had a broken leg and was immobile,” said Christy Rasmussen, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission spokeswoman.
Though the cat was peaceful and showed no signs of aggression, three police officers used handguns and shotguns to execute the mountain lion, following a Nebraska’s outdated wildlife policy — which advises officials to kill any mountain lion that enters metropolitan areas, no questions asked.
In one heartbreaking video posted to Youtube, officers can be seen and heard in the background. Several shots are fired followed by a long silence. Then another barrage of bullets is heard. Each time the injured animal tried to rise, they would shoot him again.
Several periods of silence are followed by a hail of bullets. In total, the injured, cornered animal was shot 16 times.
“That wasn’t a humane way,” Susan Bass, press relations representative for the Florida-based sanctuary Big Cat Rescue (BCR), told The Dodo. “I can’t imagine a circumstance where you’d have to shoot a mountain lion 15 times,” she added.
Police defended the officer’s actions saying that “it was determined that the appropriate action was to euthanize the animal,” and that a tranquilizer was not an option because “it was not clear how the cougar would have reacted.”
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H/T: The DoDo