Having lived in the Tenderloin for a number of years, when I awake to the sound of large arms fire, I do what any sensible human being would. Wait until the bang bang stops and then go investigate. In the official uniform of such investigations, hoop shorts and house shoes. And so it was that I crept out into the cool night. What I found? A phalanx of Berkeley Police officers and a single, very large, and very dead mountain lion.
Now, I do not live in what you would call nature. There are trees, but this is is an urbanized area. We’re talking one block from one of Berkeley’s most prominent thoroughfares in Shattuck Avenue. But apparently, this mountain lion had pretty evolved tastes. Roaming only two and a half blocks from Chez Panisse, he or she was apparently drawn to the area by the promise of an exalted hunt: tender, young returning students and slow-moving, California Cuisine-fed, neo-hippies.
Jokes! It’s a blog! But seriously, that was a joke, but this was a big-ass cat. I saw it. Officers were still treating the area as a crime scene so I wasn’t allowed to fulfill my journalistic promise and break the story with photos and proper interviews. However, officers I spoke with indicated that they had first attempted to drive the animal back toward the hills. When that failed and the beast was heading for a late dinner in the Gourmet Ghetto, they said that they had no choice to put it down. I do not dispute this.
The weapons of record were shotgun and AR-15 assault rifle. The location: Walnut Street between Cedar and Virginia, for those of you Google Mapping at home. For me, that’s directly on the other side of the building behind my bedroom window. A mountain lion. And assault-rifle fire.
Okay, that’s about all from here. Mornings on 2 can pick up the story soon enough. I just figured that since I’d be up for a while I might as well break some news for once. To recap: police make a sensible decision to kill a mountain lion roaming a densely populated, urbanized portion of North Berkeley at approximately 3:30 Tuesday morning.
Daniel Turman writes on the Fear the Beard blog , a source for information about basketball, the East Bay, and cultural tidbits, as well as possible continuing coverage with regard to our morning visitor.