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Wildlife Experts Have Tranquilized the Mountain Lion Trapped in Downtown Santa Cruz | News

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Wildlife Experts Have Tranquilized the Mountain Lion Trapped in Downtown Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Sources on scene say the mountain lion has been tranquilized. The Puma Project worked with the Department of Fish and Game to catch the animal that was stuck in an aqueduct downtown. The mountain lion was moved out of the area shortly after 1:00 p.m.

A perimeter was set up in the area of Ocean Street and May Avenue to keep the animal contained. Nets were set up along the perimeter to keep the animal from moving South. Officers told all people in homes and businesses to stay inside until the mountain lion was caught. Santa Cruz police said the wild cat was spotted early Thursday morning around 7:30 a.m.

The Puma Project tracks several mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Area. The group is a research partnership between UC Santa Cruz and the California Department of Fish and Game. To see their Puma Tracker in Google Earth click here. Currently researchers are trying to study how habitat fragmentation influences the physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation of pumas in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"Depending on their behavior, animals respond very differently to human development," Wilmers said. Lions are "totally willing to brave rural neighborhoods, but when it comes to reproductive behavior and denning they need more seclusion."


Read more about the UC Santa Cruz Puma Project


"In addition, pumas give a wider berth to types of human development that provide a more consistent source of human interface," such as neighborhoods, than they do in places where human presence is more intermittent, as with major roads or highways, the authors write.

At this time it is unknown if the mountain lion in downtown Santa Cruz is part of the research project or not.

What should I do if I see a mountain lion? *information from the National Parks Service

  • Never run from a mountain lion. No one can outrun a mountain lion.
  • Do not crouch down; the lion has seen you long before you saw it.
  • You must convince the lion that you are not prey and that you my be dangerous yourself.
  • If you have small children with you, pick them up and do all that you can to appear large.



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