A mountain lion cub was euthanized this week after walking into a bakery in a small town at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, deputies said.
An employee was present when the juvenile cat ambled into the small business in Pollock Pines, about 32 miles east of Folsom, sometime on Monday, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
“You hear stories of Firefighters called for cats stuck in trees… We got called for a lion stuck in a business…” the post states.
Though young, the mountain lion was estimated to have weighed around 40 or 50 pounds. He also appeared to be in need of medical attention, officials said.
His appearance caused a bit of a stir in the town, with about a dozen people congregating at the bakery after hearing about the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Deputies monitored the situation until authorities from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife could respond.
Sheriff’s officials originally said Fish and Wildlife tranquilized the cat, then transported him for treatment at a nearby facility.
But on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said the state agency had in fact euthanized the cub “due to its medical/health condition.”
No details were provided on the nature of the mountain lion’s medical issues. However, Jordan Traverso, a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, told the Times the cat had clearly been suffering from the moment officials made contact with it.
“At the bakery, the wardens could place a hand on it, and all it would do was momentarily raise its head to look at them before putting its head back down,” she told the newspaper, adding that the agency “determined that the most humane course of action was to euthanize the animal.”