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Mountain Lion Captured, Will Be Returned to Wild

Animal was holed up in the backyard of a home near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course

A mountain lion lies tranquilized Monday after wandering into a residential neighborhood near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course.

A mountain lion lies tranquilized Monday after wandering into a residential neighborhood near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol | updated logo 2:01 p.m. |

Click here to see of photo gallery of the mountain lion’s capture.

A mountain lion that wandered into a Santa Barbara neighborhood was tranquilized at midday Monday, several hours after it was spotted, and will be released into Los Padres National Forest.

The big cat was subdued at about 12:10 p.m. by a game warden, who used a city Fire Department ladder truck to gain better access to the animal, which had taken refuge in a backyard in the 200 block of Apple Grove Lane, near the Municipal Golf Course.

The mountain lion ran a short distance after being hit with the tranquilizer dart, but was knocked out by the drugs fairly quickly.

Wildlife officers and a veterinarian then entered the backyard to assess the animal.

Santa Barbara police, animal control and state wildlife officers had been keeping a watchful eye on the estimated 130-pound cat, which was spotted shortly after 7 a.m. by a resident, said police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

The lion was brought out of the backyard in a blue tarp, and placed in a city Animal Control truck.

Veterinarian Karen Blumenshine, who examined the animal, said it was a male, in good health, and probably not very old “because its teeth are nice and white.”

The lion was being taken up to the forest area along Paradise Road in the upper Santa Ynez Valley, according to Animal Control.

Wildlife officers carry a mountain lion to a waiting truck after it was tranquilized Monday after wandering into a Santa Barbara neighborhood. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
Wildlife officers carry a mountain lion to a waiting truck after it was tranquilized Monday after wandering into a Santa Barbara neighborhood. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Wildlife officers were assisted on the incident by a Sheriff’s Department helicopter, which had been called in to help track the lion afterwards.

Officials sent out a reverse-911 call to alert neighbors to mountain lion’s presence.

Authorities had been concerned that the big cat might be old or sick, and therefore a threat to humans and pets in the area, said Lt. Paul McCaffrey.

One indication of that, McCaffrey said, was the fact that the animal has not tried to jump the 5-foot chain-link fence between the home and the golf course, something a healthy mountain lion could easily do.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli reported from the scene.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

State Fish & Wildlife officers prepared to tranquilize a mountain lion that wandered into a residential neighborhood near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)
State Fish & Wildlife officers prepared to tranquilize a mountain lion that wandered into a residential neighborhood near the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)




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» on 01.08.13 @ 01:35 PM

Wow, I’m so surprised they didn’t shoot the mountain-lion to death.  Bravo

» on 01.08.13 @ 10:28 PM

That is a very cute lion. Other than the fact that this is a wild animal over 130 lbs, the look on her face makes it seems like she is asking to be adopted. She would certainly protect your house from potential intruders or robbers.

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