Friday, May 23, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty... OH! Never Mind...

This mountain lion was found just blocks from where I live... isn't that nice. Like I tell all unwanted critters - spiders, snakes, bugs and now, mountain lions... Go Home! What's that you say? This IS your home?? Oh dear...

Stacy Martinelli examines a tranquilized mountain lion that climbed a tree in a back yard in Agua Caliente Thursday afternoon.
Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

Mountain lion invades Aqua Caliente backyard

Sonoma Index Tribune


A female mountain lion estimated to weigh 60 pounds found its way into the branches of a tree in the backyard of a home on Calle de Luna in Aqua Caliente Thursday afternoon. John Fall, the son of the homeowner, was gardening in his backyard and was alerted to the cat's presence by the barking of Zoe and Otis, a dachshund and German shepherd belonging to his backyard neighbor Katie Garcia.

Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies were called and kept watch on the treed cat until biologists from the California Department of Fish and Game arrived. They shot the lion with a tranquilizer dart and then extracted it from the tree. Exactly what will become of it was undisclosed.

DFG biologist Stacy Martinelli said it was a "typical teen ager problem." The 2-year-old cat, a teen in mountain lion years, was forced out of its parent's range to fend for itself, but made the wrong choice of a quiet residential neighborhood in which to roam.

It is not known for sure how the lion got into the tree, but the dynamic duo of Zoe and Otis will probably be given some of the credit.

--- end ---

From the Press Democrat:

A mountain lion that was discovered Thursday in the backyard of a Sonoma Valley home was shot with a tranquilizer gun and restrained by biologists from the California Fish and Game.

Mountain lion caught in Agua Caliente

60-pound female tranquilized while perched in redwood tree

By Laura Norton

Published: Friday, May 23, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 at 5:54 a.m.


Sonoma County Sheriff's Department A mountain lion that was discovered Thursday in the backyard of a Sonoma Valley home was shot with a tranquilizer gun and restrained by biologists from the California Fish and Game.

A 60-pound female mountain lion was captured in the back yard of a Sonoma Valley home Thursday afternoon.

"It definitely surprised me. She had to go through several neighborhoods to get to where she was," neighbor Jim Haver said. "I'm just glad they got her out safe."

A resident of the 16000 block of Calle de la Luna in Agua Caliente called the sheriff's department just before 1 p.m. to report the mountain lion was lounging in the branches of a redwood tree, authorities said.

"She was very impressive," Sgt. Dave Pederson said. "She was beautiful. She put her head up and was looking at us, and I thought, 'I'm not sure what she's thinking, but I hope I can handle it.' "

Deputies formed a perimeter around the back yard, and asked neighbors to stay inside with their doors and windows closed.

They also diverted Sonoma Valley Unified school buses from the area.

Biologists from the California Department of Fish and Game got to the house just before 2 p.m. and shot the cat with a tranquilizer, Pedersen said.

"She came out of the tree gingerly," he said. "She was woozy, moving her feet and looking at us as she inched down."

Once the cat was on the ground, biologists put a leather blindfold and muzzle over her face, restrained her paws, and gathered her up in a hammock, Pedersen said.

The cat was safely placed in a wooden crate and taken out of the area, he said.

Fish and Game Lt. Steve Riske said the mountain lion was being monitored and evaluated by biologists out of the area and would likely be released in a wildlife preserve out of the county.

Neighbor Shelia Harmon was baby-sitting her two young grandchildren when the mountain lion was spotted and captured. She said it was the first time she had seen one and was surprised it came into a residential area.

"I hope she's OK," Harmon said. "It's too bad she was in the neighborhood."

You can reach Staff Writer Laura Norton at 521-5220 or

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Over the years my opinions have changed but this will never change: Jesus Christ, Lord, God and Savior, died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay for my sin.