Mountain lion captured in SF, successfully released in San Mateo Co.

- An 82-pound, male mountain lion that has been seen roaming around the streets of San Francisco at night was successfully released on the Peninsula after being tranquilized and captured in the city's Diamond Heights neighborhood today.

The mountain lion is estimated to be 18-months old, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

"When I arrived the mountain lion was hunkered down," Lt. James Ober, a Fish and Wildlife game warden, told the San Francisco Chronicle . "It appeared to be under a lot of stress." Ober cornered the cat and shot it with a tranquilizer gun.

Ober shot the mountain lion a second time, after he saw the animal still moving after 10 minutes. By 2 p.m., it was loaded onto a truck, its paws secured with straps and a black mask over its eyes.
 
He awoke from the tranquilizers around 6:30 p.m. and walked off into the Crystal Springs region of San Mateo County with a GPS collar and ear tag applied by workers with UC Santa Cruz Puma Project. The relocation was said to be the "nearest suitable habitat" according to officials. 

The first call of the mountain lion spotting came in Friday morning San Francisco police said. According to Officer Grace Gatpandan, the cat was in the vicinity of Duncan and Diamond 
streets, near a wooded and hilly area, around 9:49 a.m. 

CDFW and San Francisco Animal Control reported to the scene in the Noe Valley area. 

Wildlife officials said the animal was likely trying to establish new territory and was probably pushed into the city by more dominant mountain lions. 

It's unclear if the cat was the same animal recorded Wednesday slinking past the home of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff as seen on social media. 

California Fish and Wildlife officials initially thought that the puma was a female, but Chris Wilmers, a wildlife ecologist at the university and the head of the Puma Project, said it is "a typical young dispersal age male who takes a wrong turn."

The mountain lion was in the vicinity of a preschool and two parks by less than 1,000 feet. No one was reported to be injured.

 

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