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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Mountain Lion Found Inside Gated Community

March 16, 2000

HIDDEN HILLS — A mountain lion wandered into a gated community and was found Wednesday in the backyard of a startled resident.

The big cat did not harm anyone during its brief stay in the affluent area, though it did manage to escape once from the California Fish and Game Department wardens sent to capture it, said Sgt. Marty Dailey of the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.

"It was never on the verge of attacking," Dailey said. "It appeared to be more afraid of us than vice versa."

Authorities were called to the scene about 8 a.m. and spent several hours trying to chase down the mountain lion, described as a large male.

Fish and Game officials caught the animal and tranquilized it, but it ran away, prolonging the chase until about noon, Dailey said.

Mountain lions are often spotted in hillside areas surrounding the San Fernando Valley, where they roamed long before houses were built. Animal control officials say sightings are common during the spring.

About 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions live in the state. Only a handful of attacks on humans have been reported.

Officials plan to release the mountain lion captured Wednesday back into the wild, Dailey said.

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