A dramatic 24 hours for Azusa, California, ended with a ‘little headache.’
According to the Los Angeles Times, a curious mountain lion pawed into an Azusa neighborhood on Monday, entering the backyards of several residents, and even participating in a staring contest with one local.
“I didn’t feel scared, it didn’t seem like it was aggressive,” Deborah Moore, who spotted the big cat while walking to her home from a neighbor’s place, told the newspaper. “We just had a kind of staring contest and I didn’t want to take off and have it chase me or something.”
The Azusa Police Department was on the scene shortly after the first reported sighting (around 7 a.m.) of the wild animal. Officers made sure residents stayed in their homes while the mountain lion was in the area, and kept track of the creatures movements with a drone.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the animal navigated through several properties before being contained in the backyard of a home. Around 9:30 a.m. the mountain lion was safely tranquilized by a California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden and removed from the residential area. CDFW examined the animal before releasing the big cat back into a wild.
A CDFW spokesperson, Adam Smith, told the station that officials found the animal was blind in one eye. This visual impairment could’ve made it difficult for the 10-year-old mountain lion to find its way out of the maze of backyards it wandered into.
After getting approval from the vet, the mountain lion, also known as a cougar, was released into an area a safe distance away from local neighborhoods.
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On Twitter, the CDFW said the big cat “safely darted” back into its habitat in good health aside from a “little headache” likely caused by the animal’s unexpected nap.