A mountain lion that roamed the streets of San Francisco for two days has been captured and will be returned to the wild, authorities said.
The cougar, an approximately 2-year-old male, was found in a tree near Mission Street and tranquilized by San Francisco Animal Care and Control officers on Wednesday night. The animal was taken to the Oakland Zoo for an examination.
The lion had a radio collar, indicating it was being tracked by wildlife experts, and that helped identify the animal as the lion that was spotted in Bernal Heights and the Portola District on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Oakland Zoo said the male, which weighed around 100 pounds, is healthy. He was expected to be released into the wild.
Ken Shelf told SFGate.com he was on a walk with his wife and snapped a photograph of the mountain lion in the tree.
“I felt frightened, but also somewhat giddy to have the worlds collide in this fashion,” Shelf said. “A beautiful beast like that, living in the wild, yet wandering the city at night, looking for something to do, and possibly a bite to eat — just like the rest of us.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions live in California.
Cougars occasionally have wandered into San Francisco from San Mateo County but usually depart quickly, authorities said.