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Lost mountain lion climbs tree in backyard

By Gary Bogue
Friday, May 23rd, 2008 at 7:10 am in Fish and Game, Mountain lion.

Residents found a young mountain lion in a Sonoma backyard and Fish and Game wardens captured her.

Bay City News Service reported a young, 60-pound mountain lion was tranquilized and captured from a Redwood tree in an unincorporated Sonoma County backyard Thursday and, according to the California Department of Fish and Game, she was unharmed.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department received a report of the lion just before 1 p.m. in the 16700 block of Calle Del Luna in the Agua Caliente Knolls sub-division.

Sheriff’s deputies found the lion resting in the tree, about 30 feet above the ground. They instructed neighbors to stay inside and shut their doors and windows while they waited for Fish and Game to arrive.

Schools close by were also nearing the end of the school day, so the deputies redirected the school buses.

When Fish and Game officials arrived, they used a tranquilizer dart to get the lion out of the tree and then transported her away from the residential area.

According to a story in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a DFG warden said the lion was being monitored and evaluated by biologists and would likely be released in a wildlife preserve out of the county.


That’s the way it’s supposed to happen, folks. Not shot and killed. Tranquilized and released back into the wild in a safe area.

Gold star, Fish and Game.

As I’ve said many times before, they really do need to develop a special training program so that local law enforcement personnel can be taught how do deal with this kind of situation on their own. That includes how to use tranquilizer rifles for relocating wildlife that gets caught in the wrong area, when it is or isn’t appropriate to use tranquilizing equipment, etc.

We have so few game wardens these days (that’s a whole other issue!), there won’t always be a warden available to help local authorities deal with young mountain lions that are discovered in a tree in someone’s backyard.

Local officials need to know there are other ways to deal with such a situation besides just blowing the lost cat out of the tree with a high-powered rifle. /Gary

The complete story and a photo of the lion:

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No Responses to “Lost mountain lion climbs tree in backyard”

  1. Pat in Antioch Says:

    Great job Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dept. (for not shooting first & asking questions later!) & Fish & Game (for knowing the right thing to do & caring enough to do it!!!!!)
    Hopefully other cities/counties will follow their lead!!

    Pat in Antioch

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