A young mountain lion wandered around downtown San Francisco for two days before being captured Thursday by local and state officials.
The mountain lion, identified as a male cub weighing 50 pounds, was first seen Tuesday by a motorist near Mission Bay, one of the city’s urban neighborhoods. The disoriented animal reportedly roamed the city until he was found Thursday morning sleeping in a planter box along a busy street.
⚠️ Mountain Lion Captured ⚠️
Thank you @SFPDSouthern for your sharp eyes! They spotted the mountain lion this morning on the 100 Block of Channel St. and with the assistance of @SFACC + @CaliforniaDFW were able to safely capture and remove the mountain lion! ???? pic.twitter.com/Uzyyk1rv2B
— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) June 18, 2020
The cat was also spotted by a police officer near Oracle Park, the stadium which houses the San Francisco Giants, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesman Adam Lobsinger. The city’s Animal Care and Control was able to capture the mountain lion without sedatives before transporting it to Oakland Zoo for inspection.
Mountain Lion captured near Oracle Park. Check out this video of the wild animal being put into a cage. No one was hurt. People are wondering if it’s the same mountain lion spotted earlier this week. #sf #mountainlion pic.twitter.com/76g8zQykQM
— Anthony Leong (@anthonyleong83) June 18, 2020
Zoo officials told KPIX 5 that the cat appeared frightened and behaved aggressively during its inspection. Officials added that they had to place a mask over the mountain lion’s face to provide oxygen. They also reportedly placed a tracking collar on the cat after the inspection.
After being examined and treated by our amazing veterinary team, Dr. Alex Herman deemed he was healthy for release back into the wild. @CaliforniaDFW then took him to an open preserve and safely released back into the wild. Stay tuned for video of his release tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/VG9ZuHdx8x
— Oakland Zoo (@oakzoo) June 19, 2020
Oakland Zoo veterinarian Dr. Alex Herman told KPIX 5 the zoo’s veterinary hospital had treated over a dozen mountain lions in recent years. “Unfortunately, we see a fair number of orphaned mountain lions in California due to the deaths of their mothers,” he told KPIX 5. (RELATED: San Diego Child Possibly Attacked By Mountain Lion: Officials)
Following the zoo’s inspection, the mountain lion was released in a wilderness preserve Thursday night by California Fish and Wildlife.
Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell stated that the situation was unusual, as officials rarely get reports of big cats in San Francisco, KTLA 5 reported.
“We never had a mountain lion right in the middle of downtown San Francisco,” Campbell said.