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Mountain lion captured alive after prowling San Francisco neighborhood for two days

A mountain lion captured in Bernal Heights this 7 days is proven Thursday at the Oakland Zoo. (Ruben Maness / Oakland Zoo)

After lurking by way of a San Francisco neighborhood and alarming some inhabitants for two times, a 2-year-previous, 100-pound male mountain lion was captured Wednesday evening immediately after retreating up a tree in Bernal Heights.

Not able to make a discreet exit — as he was smack-dab in the center of the city, surrounded by curious neighbors and gawkers — the cougar was darted by officers from California’s Office of Fish and Wildlife. They carted him above to the Oakland Zoo, in which he spent the evening awaiting a thorough actual physical evaluation.

Officers from the zoo, the point out and the Bay Region Puma Task, a mountain lion analysis and rescue team, plan to launch the seemingly healthier and unharmed animal into a friendlier, undisclosed surroundings Thursday afternoon in Santa Clara County.

Bernal Heights is a household neighborhood south of San Francisco’s Mission District, not the form of semi-wild suburb where mountain lions in California regularly are spotted. This just one was initially described in the neighborhood on Tuesday, and had been found a several days previously in Pacifica — moving north alongside the peninsula.

How he received to Bernal Heights — away from any obvious wildlife corridor — is unclear. But Zara McDonald, director and biologist at the puma rescue team, claimed mountain lions go to San Francisco and other urban regions additional generally than lots of people believe.

Bay Region male mountain lions typically involve about 100 sq. miles of territory. As their normal habitat is squeezed by human advancement and further more limited by fires and drought, they can venture beyond their typical realm.

This puma experienced been in the town at the very least at the time just before, mentioned McDonald. The Puma Venture experienced collared him on a preceding situation.

She explained lions have seriously good inner navigational compasses, “but after they get in the metropolis, it can turn into challenging.”

She said this kind of densely, urban locations are stressful for them. And in this case, the lion got so deep into the metropolis, and was quickly surrounded by well-which means and curious onlookers, that it grew to become nearly difficult for him to get out on his individual.

And following two times, it turned distinct he needed support.

That’s when the Department of Fish and Wildlife entered the scene, mentioned section spokesman Ken Paglia, noting state brokers had been completely ready for a couple of days to enable out San Francisco’s section of animal management, the preliminary responders.

Early Thursday, the condition transported the lion to the Oakland Zoo, in which a workforce of veterinarians and technicians readied on their own.

“We are constantly on contact — 24/7,” said Nik Dehejia, the zoo’s chief govt, citing the zoo’s 17,000-sq.-foot animal hospital, which he said is prepared to get animals in crisis scenarios.

According to the zoo’s vice president of veterinary services, Alex Hermon, the mountain lion was “so handsome and so wonderful and so very balanced.”

She reported she and her workforce executed a complete assessment — checking his enamel, eyes, ear, tummy, heart, lungs, bladder and testicles — and provided him with some vaccinations for ailments this kind of as feline leukemia and SIV, as perfectly as medicines for deworming and fleas and ticks.

Pretty much all wild animals have some parasites, she claimed, but mainly because this lion had a couple of stressful days, she stated, erasing people freeloaders would relieve his changeover back again to the wild.

A few different teams — the Oakland Zoo, state, regional animal control and Puma Task — have come jointly for these rescues, she famous, encouraging wild creatures survive.

“They really do not want to be dispatched any more,” she reported. Rather, they can be transported and released.

Erin Harrison, the zoo’s vice president of promoting, pointed out not all the mountain lions despatched to the zoo are launched again into the wild. Very last summer months, the staff members gained a young cub from Redding whose paws had been badly burned by hearth. They done numerous surgeries on the young animal. Right after recovering, it was transported to the Columbus Zoo, the place it now resides.

Named “Captain Cal” by the hearth crew that saved him, he was transported with two other orphan cubs that the zoo was caring for at the time.

Together with fires, human encroachment and drought, mountain lions and other wild animals face threats from publicity to poisonous substances, together with rodenticides, mentioned McDonald.

She famous a point out report demonstrating a significant incidence of predators in California dying after consuming rodents that have ingested anticoagulant poisons.

This tale initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.

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