Young mountain lion lost in The City safely apprehended

Officials with San Francisco Animal Care and Control captured a mountain lion on Thursday morning after the cat had been spotted all over the city over the last two days.

Animal control officers were able to capture the young male lion at around 6:30 a.m. after the lion had gotten into an enclosed area within a building on Channel Street in the city’s Mission Bay area.

According to Animal Care and Control, they began receiving calls from residents reporting sightings on Tuesday. Over the last two days, surveillance cameras throughout the city spotted the mountain lion in neighborhoods like Russian Hill, South Beach and South of Market. Animal Care and Control spokeswoman Deb Campbell said while officials were initially hoping the animal would eventually find its way out of the city, staff became increasingly concerned as more videos began coming in.

“We realized that there was no safe way for the mountain lion to exit the city, and started putting plans in place,” she said.

The latest call came around 4 a.m. Thursday, reporting that the animal had gotten into a building’s enclosed area filled with shrubbery. Animal Control officers, along with help from police and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, were able to apprehend the lion with a dog net.

Campbell said officials believe the male mountain lion is between 14 and 16 months old. Lions at that age should still be with their mothers, she said.

“It’s not surprising it was confused and lost in SF,” she said. “Most cases like this end in the animal being tranquilized. We’re fortunate that our awesome officers were able to catch him in a net.”

The lion will be released back into the wild, Campbell said.

Animal Care and Control officials recommend that people who come in contact with a mountain lion should avoid running, and instead back away slowly while making make themselves big by waving their arms and shouting.

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