A 70-pound mountain lion seen running on the slopes behind a retirement community was sedated by California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and taken to the Cleveland National Forest, according to a news release issued Thursday by the city of Mission Viejo.
The female mountain lion, believed to be 2 to 5 years old, was first seen near the Palmia retirement community near Santa Margarita Parkway and Promenade.
The sighting was reported to the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the city. An animal services officer searched the neighborhood but didn't find the animal.
Four hours later, someone else in the area spotted the mountain lion "sitting on the back slope of his home," the city said. Officers then found and sedated the animal.
The city reminded residents to remain calm and not run away if they see a mountain lion, but instead "try to appear larger and make a lot of noise." It added that on trails, "parents should keep children in front of them so they can be easily watched."