A mountain lion is on its way back to the wild on Sunday after it startled residents in a Tulare neighborhood the previous evening, officials said.
The Tulare Police Department began getting calls just after 9 p.m. about a big cat spotted near Live Oak Middle School on Laspina Street. Word of the mountain lion sightings had quickly spread through the apps Ring and Nextdoor, Visalia Times-Delta reported.
After a “long search,” officials found the big cat about 1/2 mile away resting in some bushes near Mountain View Street and Burton Avenue, according to police.
A biologist and game wardens with the Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene and managed to tranquilize the feline without injury, the agency said. The animal is about 2 to 3 years old and weighs 80 to 100 pounds, experts estimated.
“The animal is currently on its way back to the mountains where it will be returned to the wild,” police said early Sunday.
Mountain lions generally live wherever deer are found, but they naturally avoid humans, according to Fish and Wildlife. They could also prey on pets and livestock.