Mountain Lion Gives California Neighborhood a Scare

The animal was spotted three times over the course of 12 hours.

ByABC News via logo
May 19, 2015, 11:55 AM

— -- A medium-sized mountain was released into the wild late Monday night after spending around 12 hours roaming a California neighborhood.

The mountain lion was first spotted in San Mateo, California, around 4:30 a.m.

Officers arrived on the scene in time to see the animal on the street but could not capture it. Nine hours later, a second call came into police, this time with a sighting of the cat walking away from an apartment complex.

Wildlife officials scoured the street, armed with tranquilizer guns warning neighbors to stay away.

“It was just running around the backyard,” said one resident. "It’s all gated so I don’t know how the heck it got back there but it’s just a big shock.”

Around 4:30 p.m., the lion was spotted for a third time. Officials set up a perimeter and canvassed the area before finding and tranquilizing the lion around 7 p.m.

“It took two shots to bring the lion down,” the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Andrew Hughan told reporters. "He was safely, you know, sleeping away in the bushes over there.”

The mountain lion was taken to a wildlife refuge and released around 8:30 p.m., according to ABC station KGO.

Police said the mountain lion was not aggressive towards people and appeared to be healthy, the station reports.