Police shot and killed a 6-foot-3-inch mountain lion inside the Des Moines city limits, just blocks from an elementary school yesterday morning.
Homeowner Jim Eagen alerted police to the large feline after almost running into the cat in his backyard.
“I come around the corner of the greenhouse where we have benches with plants … I looked down and there he was, looking up at me,” the 65-year-old told the Des Moines Register.
Eagen said he eased back into his house to call authorities with the cat’s eyes watching his every move. Despite his explanation in a call to 911, Eagen says he doesn’t think the dispatchers immediately believed him. He told KCCI about the call: “He [911 dispatch] said ‘what?’ And I said ‘I’m telling you what I saw, what I’m seeing.’ “
Sgt. Jeff Phillips was the first to respond. An avid outdoorsman, the sergeant knew what he was dealing with and made the quick decision to kill the cat as it tried to escape rather than wait for a tranquilizer gun to arrive. Police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Scott said Sgt. Phillips made the right call.
“The officers knew, due to the size of the mountain lion, that its escape would be of great danger to the public. The lion made a dashing move leaving officers no choice but to shoot the lion,” said Scott.
Given the size of the lion and its proximity to a school I agree.