SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – He may look sweet and gentle after being tranquilized, but a 70-pound mountain lion captured in East Sacramento could have been a threat to anyone that came in contact with it.
“A 70-pound mountain lion absolutely can be a dangerous animal,” said Patrick Foy from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. “A mountain lion is capable of taking down a prey animal that’s four times its own body size.”
The mountain lion was cornered in Mabel Furr’s backyard at 32nd and X Streets later Saturday night after several reported sightings almost 24 hours earlier.
“It’s a six-foot high fence with spikes on top. A lion will leap over that without even touching the fence,” Foy said.
Foy noted that the thick bushes in Furr’s yard made it easy to stay hidden.
“It’s kind of like a jungle,” Furr said.
“It did utilize that cover for its own security during the daylight hours and then came out at night,” Foy said.
Foy said this is the fourth large animal sighting in the last two months in a very urban area. Two bears and another mountain lion have also recently made their way into nearby cities.
“(Could this be drought related?) That’s a possibility,” Foy said.
But Foy noted that it is most likely the juvenile male mountain lion was just trying to find a new home.
“They get kicked around by the other dominant lions and they end up in places you would never expect them,” Foy said.
The big cat was released early Sunday morning, with the Department of Fish and Wildlife releasing video of him taking his first groggy steps after waking up from being tranquilized.
Foy said the department isn’t disclosing exactly where they let the mountain lion loose in case someone tried to go after it. He believes the mountain lion could have made his way into the city from the American River Parkway area, where there are a lot of deer for them to feed on.