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BERKELEY, Calif. – Police have gunned down a 100-pound mountain lion romping through Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood blocks from Alice Waters’ famed Chez Panisse restaurant.

Authorities said a neighborhood resident reported the big cat to Berkeley police and firefighters around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The animal was seen roaming through residential backyards and a church playground before officers caught up with it.

Police and state wildlife officials quickly deemed the animal a threat to public safety, and officers were given the OK to shoot it. An officer killed it with a shotgun at about 3:30 a.m.

Pat Foy, a state game warden, says he has not ruled out that the female lion was being kept as an illegal pet since no lions have been spotted in Berkeley in recent years.

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