It was a tumultuous few weeks for a young mountain lion that found itself in the throngs of the San Francisco cityscape in June. The large cat had been seen on camera lurking throughout the city for an entire week, only to be captured and removed by wildlife officials. Now, after being examined and released, the mountain lion was found dead along Highway 101 last week.
The cat’s journey began when a resident of San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood snapped a video of it wandering throughout the city in the middle of the night.
At around 12:30 am I spotted a mountain lion roaming the streets of Russian Hill. I followed from inside my car and lost visual contact near intersection of Greenwich and Jones. Be safe when walking alone at night or when walking your pets. I reported the sighting to @SFPD pic.twitter.com/xlreghRSaJ— Fernando Robles (@Ing_Fehr) June 16, 2020
The mountain lion spent the week traveling through the city, moving from the north side to the middle of downtown, only being seen on video cameras in the area.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: A mountain lion was spotted along the Embarcadero and Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco. A biologist with the Bay Area Puma project tells us more about the animal here: https://t.co/7AzuNqMS3X pic.twitter.com/HjY43XIqSc— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) June 16, 2020
After a sighting near Oracle Park, stadium of the San Francisco Giants, the mountain lion was captured by wildlife officials on June 18, eventually being examined and tagged in Oakland and released back into the wilderness.
The young male mountain lion, which was 12-18 months old and weighed about 70 pounds, was suspected of killing two wallaroos and a red kangaroo at the San Francisco Zoo after its release. The animals were found dead at their outdoor exhibit and zoo officials were investigating whether the cougar was the culprit.
Finally, the mountain lion was found dead along Highway 101 on July 3, marking a busy month for the mountain lion and Bay Area wildlife officials alike. The animal was hit by a car and officials were able to identify it by its ear tag.
It’s a sad ending for the mountain lion who tried to make a home on the busy streets of San Francisco, putting residents on edge and creating a difficult task for wildlife officials. Maybe it’s best for the big cats to stay in the wilderness.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine