Mountain lion discovered near Santa Rosa shopping center

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Mountain Lion Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — “I was supposed to be at work around 9 and there was police everywhere,” said Santa Rosa resident Carmen Aidun.

Aidun works across the street from Macy’s in Downtown Santa Rosa.

“I ended up asking one of my coworkers what was going on and she told me there was a mountain lion,” Aidun said.

The feline was sitting in the planters outside the department store, ducking as Santa Rosa Police and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries tried to capture him.

Once the cat was tranquilized, Dr. Quinton Martins was called to tag the cat’s ear.

Martins heads up the Living With Lions Project — studying mountain lion behavior in Sonoma County. 

“Mountain lions are timid by nature and they avoid people as much as possible,” he said.

So how did he end up at a shopping center?

Dr. Martins says there’s no way to know for sure, but he believes the cat is a young male who might have been roaming through the creeks near mall.

“It might’ve just been circumstances — looking around cruising around the area and might have gotten caught off guard at that time,” he said.

Dr. Martins says if you ever come into contact with a mountain lion, you shouldn’t be too worried.

“They are skilled predators, but a study shows in over 100 years, only 16 people have been involved in fatal attacks as a result of mountain lions in the whole of North America,” Martins said.

But whatever you do, never run.

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