Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mountain lion in San Francisco neighborhood is tranquilized

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A mountain lion cornered by a game warden near a San Francisco playground and shot with a tranquilizer gun on Friday has been fitted with a GPS collar and is ready to go back into the wild.

The animal was spotted earlier in the day amid trees, brush and ivy behind a housing complex in the city's Diamond Heights neighborhood. Authorities decided to tranquilize the cat and relocate it because it was near a playground and in a heavily populated area.

"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 shot the 82-pound male a second time, after he saw the animal still moving after 10 minutes. By 2 p.m., the mountain lion had been loaded onto a truck, its paws secured with straps and a black mask over its eyes.

The animal was turned over to the Santa Cruz Puma Project out of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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."

It's unclear if the cat was the same animal recorded Wednesday slinking past the home of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who lives in the Sea Cliff neighborhood.

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