California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers successfully tranquilized and captured a mountain lion trapped in a Southern California backyard this afternoon.
CDFW wildlife officers responded to a call from a Santa Barbara homeowner approximately 8:30 a.m. to find a lion trapped in a heavily wooded backyard bordering the Santa Barbara Golf Club, two blocks north of U.S. Highway 101. Officers determined that the lion was stable and hidden in heavy brush and trees of the yard and not a public safety threat.
Several CDFW wildlife officers were on scene evaluating the situation, the condition of the lion and gathering resources to ensure the safety of the officers, the public and the animal before attempting any effort to subdue the lion.
Wildlife officers determined the lion was not in a place where it could be chased it back into the wild without taking action. A plan was formulated to tranquilize the animal and return it to open space; there were no plans to destroy the animal.
About 12:30 p.m., wildlife officers successfully used a tranquilizer gun to immobilize the cat and secure it for evaluation and transportation.
The cat is a young, male lion, about 100 pounds and appears to be healthy. Officers took the animal to Los Padres National Forest for release.
A nearby elementary school was notified as a precaution but was not locked down or evacuated.
Capt. Mike Stefanak, CDFW Law Enforcement (805) 746-7590
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944