December 2, 2007

Mountain lion magnet

What is it with Redlands and mountain lions? People see them in local parks, by the local mall, out in the canyon, in their homes... and the next thing you know, it's another news story:
The mountain lion was tranquilized after it and another cougar were seen perched in a tree near two schools in Redlands, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

Local officials locked down the schools as state Department of Fish and Game wardens surrounded the tree, said Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker.

One mountain lion jumped down and ran into a wash toward an orange grove that was less than a mile away. The wardens surrounded the tree and shot tranquilizer darts at the other mountain lion as children in the nearby elementary school, whose mascot is the cougar, shouted from their classrooms.

“They kept saying, 'Don't shoot our mascot,'” Baker said.
[The tranquilized mountain lion was later released, according to this article.]

There have been a lot more sightings in the local mountains than usual -- probably due to the fires.

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