Mountain lion known as M317 spotted roaming through streets of Laguna Beach

Officials think this is the same mountain lion seen causing chaos in an Irvine shopping center in late March.
LAGUNA BEACH (KABC) -- The mountain lion known as M317 was spotted roaming through the streets of Laguna Beach Sunday night.

According to city officials, the cat was first spotted near Catalina and Calliope streets at around 11:30 p.m.

Shortly after, police officers spotted it along the South Coast Highway between Cleo and Legion streets.

The 100-plus-pound cougar has been roaming the Aliso and Wood Canyons for a couple of weeks.

The animal is being tracked for research purposes and officials believe this could be the same mountain lion seen in surveillance video causing chaos in an Irvine shopping center in late March -- even running inside a building at one point.

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During all of its sightings, M317 has shown a fear of humans, according to officials.
The city of Laguna Beach is working with Orange County Parks and University of California Davis researchers to continue to monitor the animal's whereabouts.

According to Kyle Werner, a Mission Viejo Animal Services supervisor who spoke with Eyewitness News recently about mountain lion sightings, the wildlife area in Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains is small and isolated because it's surrounded by freeways, which mountain lions don't like to cross.

That means the animals are pretty highly concentrated in the region.

Werner recommends people stand their ground, act big and threatening, make loud noises and throw something like a rock if they encounter a mountain lion.

It's not recommended people run because cougars may chase them.

People are asked to report sightings of the animals to Mission Viejo Animal Services.

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