Mountain lion nicknamed 'Mr Handsome' captured after roaming San Francisco neighborhood for days

Amy Hollyfield Image
ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Friday, May 21, 2021
Mountain lion found in SF tree is from Santa Cruz Mountains
Veterinarians at the Oakland Zoo examined the mountain lion found and captured in San Francisco late Wednesday night and say he is young and healthy.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After roaming the streets of multiple San Francisco neighborhoods for days, a mountain lion was captured after being spotted in a nearby tree.

Veterinarians at the Oakland Zoo examined the mountain lion saying he is young and healthy.

"This is a beautiful two-year-old male mountain lion. He looks very healthy and he has been radio collared by UC Santa Cruz, so we know a little bit about him. Looks like he came out of the Santa Cruz Mountains and got lost in San Francisco. He's young so he probably recently separated from his mother," said Dr. Alex Herman, Vice President of Veterinary Services at the Oakland Zoo.

California Fish and Wildlife crews safely removed the mountain lion found in a tree after someone parking their car spotted it at around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

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State officers used a dart to tranquilize the big cat. It then fell asleep on the porch under the tree, and brought him to the Oakland Zoo.

The mountain lion was wearing a tracking collar, so it is known to state wildlife officials.

Cameras have caught the mountain lion roaming the streets of multiple San Francisco neighborhoods walking right alongside parked cars, strolling through backyards, even checking out someone's front porch.

A spokesperson for The Puma Project says they put a tracking device on him shortly after he was born to study mountain lion behavior. They say his long distance travels are normal as he looks for turf to call his own.

Officials will now take him back out into the wild and hope this time he stays there.

"Official policy is, I can't say where he's going to be released, but he probably will not go back to Santa Cruz, because we don't want him to find his way into San Francisco again," Herman said.

It appears the lion was given a unique nickname.

"I think I have called him Mr. Handsome several times! That's the name that came to mind," Herman said.