Early Saturday morning, residents of a neighbourhood in Santa Ana woke up to a mountain lion roaming their area. Home security videos showed the wildcat walking on lawns and leaping fences.
A helicopter hovered, warning residents to stay indoors. A team made up of the Sheriff’s department, OC Animal Care, and the Tustin Police Department were on hand with their guns just in case the cat pounced.
The capture proved risky and challenging, as officers from Fish and Wildlife had to prepare tranquillizer darts on-site and could only take a shot when the animal was still.
After many hours of hunting the cougar, officers finally captured it. It was relocated to Cleveland National Forest.
One resident, Jeff Bryant, feared the worst for his 10-year-old cat who had disappeared since that morning. He said in his 15 years of living there he hadn’t heard of a mountain lion but had seen thin coyotes. He presumed the wild cat had strayed because of lack of food in its habitat.
According to Patrick Foy, a captain with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, lack of food wasn’t the only reason wild animals left their habitats as seen in downtown San Francisco.
The cougar was captured in a backyard and released in the Cleveland National Forest.