Mountain lion cub seen roaming the streets of San Francisco may have killed a kangaroo and two wallaroos in the city’s zoo before being captured
- The 15-month-old mountain lion cub was captured with a net in downtown
- Vets gave the 50-pound cat fluids and vitamins, and tagged and collared him
- He was released back into the wild on Thursday and will be tracked
- On Friday, San Francisco Zoo revealed three of their animals had been killed
- They blamed ‘a local carnivore’, and DNA tests are now being done
A mountain lion cub seen roaming the streets of San Francisco has been captured and released to a nature preserve, after being suspected of killing a kangaroo and two wallaroos in the city zoo.
The 15-month-old cub was caught with a net after it was spotted lurking in the bushes in the city.
Deb Campbell, Animal Care and Control spokeswoman said that officials get reports of cougars roaming in San Francisco about once a year, but it was unusual to find the animal in the city center.
The mountain lion cub was spotted in downtown San Francisco, and caught with a net before being transferred to Oakland Zoo. Staff said it was the biggest cougar they had encountered
The 15-month-old animal was spotted hiding in the bushes in San Francisco
Security camera footage showed the animal trotting across a parking lot in the city
‘We never had a mountain lion right in the middle of downtown San Francisco,’ Campbell said.
The animals come up along the Pacific Coast from the hills south of the city, but eventually find their way back to the wild, she said.
Earlier in the week the San Francisco zoo had found three of its marsupials dead in their outdoor pens, with a ‘local wild carnivore’ suspected of killing them.
The red kangaroo and two wallaroos – a smaller cousin to the kangaroo – are kept in the zoo’s Australian WalkAbout section.
Red kangaroos, the largest living marsupials, weigh between 80 and 200 pounds.
‘They’ll kill it and not necessarily eat it,’ said Zara McDonald, a biologist with the Bay Area Puma Project.
She told ABC News: ‘We call it surplus killing. That usually happens when there’s an abundance of prey that’s sort of trapped in an enclosure that the predator can easily access.’
Two wallaroos such as this one were killed at San Francisco zoo earlier in the week
San Francisco Zoo on Friday announced that three of its animals had been found dead in pens
The mountain lion was taken on capture to the Oakland zoo – the 12th such animal rescued by the zoo in the last few years.
Weighing 68lbs, the youngster was the biggest cougar yet treated by the team.
Vets gave the cat fluids and vitamins, and tagged and collared him, before he was crated and released.
‘The important thing for all of us to remember is that these are magnificent animals that we want to keep in the wild – and in order to do that, we need to find ways to coexist with them,’ said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at the Oakland Zoo.
Fish and wildlife will do a DNA analysis of scat found in the marsupial enclosure at the San Francisco zoo and compare it to samples taken of the mountain lion’s fur.
The mountain lion was released near Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo County.
The University of California Santa Cruz Puma Project will continue to track him with the collar he is now wearing.
The big cat was released into the wild on Thursday in San Mateo County
The University of California Santa Cruz Puma Project will continue to track him via his collar