Environment

Mountain lion tranquilized and removed from yard in North Natomas neighborhood

Aerial footage shows mountain lion being removed from Natomas backyard

California Department of Fish and Game personnel help remove a large mountain lion from a backyard off Cantara Court in Natomas area of Sacramento. A CHP helicopter kept a watchful eye so the animal wouldn’t run away.
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California Department of Fish and Game personnel help remove a large mountain lion from a backyard off Cantara Court in Natomas area of Sacramento. A CHP helicopter kept a watchful eye so the animal wouldn’t run away.

Police swarmed a residential North Natomas neighborhood Sunday morning after a mountain lion was spotted in the area, then captured and removed it after tranquilizing the animal.

The Sacramento Police Department got a call around 10 a.m. about the mountain lion near Merrivale Way and Bessemer Court. By 2 p.m. officers and animal control were able to safely remove it from the backyard of a home.

Police spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler had earlier warned residents in the area to stay inside, because the situation was fluid. He asked others to avoid the area.

Jace Huggins, Sacramento’s chief animal control officer, said the young adult male may have been trying to establish a new territory and wandered too far out of the wild.

A mountain lion was spotted on Merrivale Way in Natomas on February 24, 2019. The animal has been contained by animal control.

Huggins said the Department of Fish and Wildlife most likely will be taking the mountain lion into the hills of Placer County.

Upon inspection, the cat was 1 1/2 to 2 years old, weighed about 125 pounds and was healthy. No one was injured during the incident, Huggins said.

Bryn Potter O’Shea, whose security camera recorded the mountain lion, said her husband first saw it as he was driving home from the gym.

The mountain lion ran in front of his car, and once her husband realized what it was, he followed it until it hid in a backyard, O’Shea said.

He then went inside, called 911 and checked the security video footage, where seven minutes earlier it had appeared at their doorstep, O’Shea said.

“He was very shaken up for a while today,” O’Shea said, adding that she was happy to hear the mountain lion was safely captured.

Huggins asked anyone who sees a mountain lion in the city of Sacramento to call 311 if there is no imminent danger or 911 if there is.

“It’s just something that people should be cognizant of,” Chandler said. “Be alert and if you see any other mountain lions, obviously call and make sure we are notified.”

State Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Rick Fischer told the Associated Press in an article earlier this month that it isn’t uncommon for mountain lions to wander out of their mountainous habitat.

“Attacks on humans are rare but the big cats will prey on pets and livestock,” the AP reported.

Huggins said spotting a mountain lion in city limits is relatively rare, but it does happen occasionally.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.

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