Fish & Wildlife staff capture mountain lion inside Palm Springs condo complex
Department of Fish and Wildlife officials were able to safely capture a mountain lion that ended up inside a Palm Springs condo complex, Sunrise Palms.
The incident started Monday at around 7:30 a.m. in the area of N Hermosa Drive and Sunflower Circle.
Residents said they spotted the mountain lion in the backyard of one of the condos. One neighbor told News Channel 3's Marian Bouchot at the scene that the residents of the condo weren't home at the time.
One nearby neighbor heard the commotion and went outside to find Palm Springs Police and animal control. Palm Springs Police were on the scene to assist the Fish and Wildlife officials.
"[An official] told me to be quiet. So he walked over and said, be quiet because there's a mountain lion out here. We're trying to catch it. So that's when I found out about it," said nearby neighbor Frank Rios.
At around 1:20 p.m., Fish and Wildlife officials were able to tranquilize the cat and take it into custody.
"It's alerting to me because I do have cats and I take them out in the back with me once in a while," said Rios.
A Fish and Wildlife lieutenant supervisor, Kyle Change, said the big cat is supposed to be about 75 pounds but weighs about 30 pounds at most.
"The decision was to guard it and relocate it but after looking at the health of the lion, it was really emaciated. Looked like he got hit by a car possibly because all the nail beds were fractured," said Chang. "I think that it came down here probably hunting because it's a juvenile smaller cat. It might have gotten kicked out of its territory- home territory and it's looking for its own territory."
Wildlife and Fish officers took the cat to a rehab facility in San Diego. The plan is to release it back in the wild once it's healed.
"It's a normal call. I mean, it happens every year," said Chang. "And so I've been working for the department for about 22 years now so it's it happens probably like four or five times a year."