A mountain lion that made its way into a Ventura County neighborhood was tranquilized and released into the wild, officials said Saturday.
The 75-pound female cat was spotted about 5:30 p.m. Friday by residents of a mobile home community in Newbury Park, and officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found the animal hiding under a trailer, said department spokeswoman Janice Mackey.
“When they shined a flashlight on her, she got scared and crawled deeper under the trailer,” said Mackey, adding that the mountain lion was not aggressive. No injuries related to the animal were reported by area residents.
The 14-month-old cat probably became lost after separating from family and searching for territory to call her own – a pattern of behavior known as dispersal, Mackey said.
Deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department secured a perimeter in the mobile home community in the 50 block of South Ventu Park Road. Then they hit the mountain lion with a tranquilizer dart.
Fish and Wildlife staff conducted a medical examination on the lion and noticed an ear tag showing she had previously been included in a National Parks Service study.
The lion was outfitted with a tracking collar. Around midnight, she was returned to the wild at an undisclosed location.