Mountain Lion Tranquilized Inside California Office Building Will Be Released into the Wild

"I've never had such a wild encounter like that, so it was very scary," said Claire Leenerts, one of the numerous people who encountered the mountain lion around Irvine, California, on Saturday

Mountain lion captured California
Photo: Irvine Police Department

Workers inside an Irvine, California, business got a wild surprise on Tuesday when a 113-pound male mountain lion raced into their office building.

According to CBS News, police and wildlife officials first spotted the mountain lion roaming around an industrial park. Authorities attempted to capture the cat, but the animal got spooked and ran into the building for Morse Micro Office before police officers could apprehend the animal outside.

"When I first looked up, I saw a cat hit the door, hit the partition, and wander through," said Morse Micro Office employee Mark Waterhouse, per CBS Los Angeles.

Shortly after the mountain lion entered the building, animal service officers from the Irvine Police Department sedated the animal and safely removed the feline from the business.

CBS Los Angeles obtained footage of the mountain lion running away from police officers in Irvine and scaring people before the animal was tranquilized and moved.

"I've never had such a wild encounter like that, so it was very scary," said Claire Leenerts, a witness from a local business, told the news outlet.

Before its capture, the wild animal also made its way to a local brewhouse, where workers witnessed the mountain lion pressing its body against the window.

The Irvine Police Department found humor in the situation and posted about the wild rescue and what is next for the mountain lion on Facebook.

"We are not lion, we had a purr-ty scary situation on our paws today. IPD received reports of a mountain lion 🦁 in the area of Sand Canyon and Irvine Center Drive. As our claw-enforcement officers arrived, the lion ran towards the shopping center nearly causing a fur-enzy as it is uncommon for a mountain lion to be seen in Irvine," said the police department shared on Facebook.

"Thankfully our officers are not scaredy cats and purr-sued the big kitty into a business area. We backed off and gave the two-year-old male some space while we gathered more resources. IPD Animal Services Officers were able to safely sedate the feline to avoid a cat-astrophy. He was taken to a local animal care center for evaluation. He will be released in the near future," the post added.

Mountain lion captured California
Irvine Police Department

The Orange County Register reported individuals also spotted the cat outside of a hair salon ahead of its capture.

"I was standing at the front desk, and a client says, 'Oh my God,'" Elliot Matthews, an employee at Bishops Cuts and Colors, told the Orange County Register. "All I saw at first was this big thing and a tail."

The mountain lion is now in the care of veterinarians and will be released in an undisclosed wild location away from people "with plenty of space, a water source, and near deer," the Orange County Register added.

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