Mountain lion nabbed after leading police on pursuit through suburbia

A sheriff's office helicopter helped track down the cat so wildlife officials could tranquilize it

By Don Sweeney
The Sacramento Bee

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A mountain lion spotted prowling suburban Southern California backyards Saturday morning didn't go quietly.

An Orange County sheriff's helicopter responding to reported sightings in Santa Ana and Tustin spotted the big cat in a backyard, deputies reported.

"A lengthy foot pursuit ensued through the neighborhood," deputies wrote on Instagram.

State Department of Fish and Game wardens ultimately tranquilized the mountain lion and released it in the Cleveland National Forest, the Orange County Register reported.

"Anyone missing their cat?" deputies wrote on Instagram. "This definitely falls into the category of 'we don't see this every day'."

Earlier in the day, residents reported sightings and posted doorbell videos online.

"My neighbor texted me at eight o'clock this morning and said, watch your doggies because we just had a mountain lion in our backyard," said Jocelyn Kelly, KTLA reported.

Jeff Bryant said he's seen coyotes in his neighborhood before, but never a mountain lion, the Orange County Register reported.

"I bet the fires drove him down. If they don't have food, they'll come down looking for sure." Bryant said, according to the publication. He said his family is worried about its missing 10-year-old cat.

(c)2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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