Pacific Grove Police, including the Animal Control Officer, were dispatched about 10 a.m. on Mon. Dec. 7 on report of a bobcat in the area of Eardley and Line St. They cordoned off the area.
It turned out to be a female mountain lion on a tree limb in the yard f an empty home in a residential area.
Fish & Wildlife wardens came out and tranquilized the animal with two darts.
Monterey Fire Department personnel were called for ladder assistance in reaching the animal, but she came down of her own accord and bolted for the back yard of the empty residence. She eventually succumbed to the tranquilizer and fell asleep.
It was a female, perhaps 18 months old. She was examined briefly for health issues, and seeing none, she was ear-tagged only. “The lion was not acting out of line,” said Kyle Orr, PIO for Fish and Wildlife in Sacramento. “There was no need to test her for disease.” Given her estimated age, which is pretty young in lion terms, there was also no suspicion or evidence that she was nursing kittens.
She appeared to weigh about 40-50 pounds.
Fire Department personnel retrieved the two darts that had fallen onto the roof.
The mountain lion was then secured in a cage for safe transport to U.S. Forest Service land south of Carmel Valley by Department of Fish & Wildlife personnel.
Orr also added that there is no way to know whether she was alone or has parents, brothers or sisters in the area. Male lions, he says, have a range of about 200 miles. Will she return to Pacific Grove? “Not likely,” he said.
There are an estimated 4,000-6,000 mountain lions in California. They are elusive and secretive, he says, and quoted a fellow officer who pointed out that “Mountain lions see people more often than people see mountain lions.”
Mountain lions do not commonly prey on human beings. Their preferred prey are deer. “Where there are deer, there are mountain lions,” said Orr.
Orr recommended that local residents go to https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/keep-me-wild and read up on protocol and safety measures for humans living in lion country.
Monterey Fire Department shared pictures by Carrie Wilson for this story.