SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco animal control officers captured a mountain lion they cornered in a tree early Thursday morning in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.
Overnight, the mountain lion on Santa Maria Street near Mission Street was hit with a calming arrow.
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“It was pretty shocking. At first I thought it probably wasn’t real, ”said Bernal Heights resident Ruth Ferguson, who discovered the puma.
After a few minutes the puma climbed down the tree and up the front stairs of a house and was incapacitated on the porch of the house.
“We let the medication work for about 15 minutes. At this point we went up and rated and the mountain lion was well sedated. We limped, which is mainly so that when the mountain lion starts moving it doesn’t hurt itself and if for some reason it took an unusually long time to get it to the zoo, they wouldn’t have to stun it again before using the assessment can begin, ”said James Ober, Lt. of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Fish and Wildlife staff then took it to the Oakland Zoo for observation and examination before it was released into the wild.
Our veterinary clinic admitted a healthy, 2 year old male mountain lion around 1:00 a.m. this morning! He was found in the neighborhood of SF Bernal Heights. (It was previously looked after by @ucsc Puma Project)… pic.twitter.com/C6Mc8RFUZU
– Oakland Zoo (@oakzoo) May 20, 2021
Zoo officials tweeted that the healthy two-year-old male mountain lion had been vaccinated and blood tests done while he was at the zoo. The animal was also found previously tied up by the UC Santa Cruz Puma Project.
Oakland Zoo veterinarian Alex Herman affectionately called the big cat “Mister Handsome”.
“We’re basically going to give him an injection to make him fall asleep so we can handle him safely, but it’s also not stressful for him,” Herman explained. “We want this guy to have the best experience possible. So I’m going to do a full physical exam. “
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When asked how the mountain lion got to San Francisco, Dr. Herman, the distance traveled is not unusual.
“Well, it’s normal spreading behavior, so it’s normal for them to really move around the peninsula,” she said.
Where would the cat be released back into the wild?
“I can’t say where he will be released, but he probably won’t be returning to Santa Cruz because we don’t want him to find his way back to San Francisco,” Herman said.
The mountain lion was believed to be the same one spotted Tuesday morning in the Portola and Bernal Heights neighborhoods.
The mountain lion stands in a tree in Santa Marina near Mission. Animal control officers are on site and monitor the situation. California Fish & Wildlife is on the way to shoot and remove. pic.twitter.com/wCBYalUAmn
– SF Animal Care (@SFACC) May 20, 2021
Animal control officials said it was a young man who probably weighed between 120 and 130 pounds.
Warning signs were posted over the mountain lion on Tuesday, and residents were notified on Wednesday morning that the lion may still be in the area.
The surveillance video caught the animal on Gaven Street in the Portola neighborhood at around 3:50 a.m. on Tuesday, according to San Francisco Animal Care and Control officials.
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Later on Tuesday morning, an eyewitness reported seeing the mountain lion near Bernal Hill Park.