On Saturday, Tulare residents left open-mouthed after a huge 100-pound mountain lion decided to take a stroll through the city. The local police was alerted after several people have spotted the wild animal in the area of Ben Franklin Avenue and Laspina Street, near Live Oak Middle School.
“And then all of a sudden I’m getting phone calls and texts from my police officer buddies who are here, who know where I live, and they’re going hey man it’s right here in your backyard,” Steve Facchini, Tulare City fire captain said.
After a search mission was set in, the mountain lion was found in the area of Burton Avenue and Mt. View Street while resting in some bushes.
“We were able to kind of contain it without antagonizing it, and then we just waited for Fish and Game to arrive, and they handled their business,” said Sgt. Eddie Hinojosa.
Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game and a biologist have safely tranquilize the animal. It was then put under supervision during night, then in the next morning it was released in the wild, after it made a full recovery. According to the biologist, it was a 2-3 year old individual, weighing around 100 pounds.
“It’s hard to believe that a cat that big and that size could make it from the hills to the Valley floor, to the city of Tulare of all places,” Facchini said.
“It was a good conclusion to an unordinary story. You know I don’t recall ever hearing of a wild cat or mountain lion in the city of Tulare,” Hinojosa said. “I think there was an incident with a bear a few years back, but this is the first mountain lion call we’ve ever had to handle.”