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Mountain lion spotted in Santa Rosa neighborhood tranquilized, undergoing evaluation

Veterinarians on Wednesday were evaluating a mountain lion that was tranquilized and taken to a wildlife rescue center after it was spotted in a northeast Santa Rosa neighborhood on Tuesday night, according to police.

The mountain lion was reported at about 10 p.m. in the area of St. Francis Road and De Soto Drive by somebody who saw the animal in a neighbor’s front yard, said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Chris Mahurin.

The mountain lion is a young male that weighs about 50 pounds, Mahurin said.

Police pointed lights at the animal in an effort to get him to leave the area, but he wouldn’t move, Mahurin said.

California Fish and Wildlife officials responded, in addition to staff with Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and the wildlife research organization True Wild, according to Mahurin.

A True Wild researcher tranquilized the mountain lion and the group brought him to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue center, a nonprofit southwest of Rohnert Park, where he was being evaluated for diseases or other health problems.

The health evaluation was prompted by the animal’s refusal to leave the area when police showed up.

"If people are around, (mountain lions) are usually pretty skittish and take off, but this one did not want to go anywhere,“ Mahurin said.

He said the mountain lion will be released if he is in good health.

On Wednesday night Doris Duncan said the mountain lion “is doing much better than the other one we had.”

The incident was the second time in less than 10 days that a mountain lion was captured by wildlife researchers in Sonoma County after being found in a residential area.

On Oct. 18, a 5-year-old female mountain lion was spotted in a Rohnert Park creek bed near Evergreen Elementary and Lawrence E. Jones Middle schools, prompting the lockdown of both campuses.

The animal in that case was tranquilized and identified as Wobbly, a mountain lion with a chronic neurological disorder that causes her to walk slowly and struggle with balance.

After Wobbly was evaluated at the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue center, California Fish and Wildlife officials announced that she would be euthanized because of her condition, which was causing her health to deteriorate.

Staff writer Kathleen Coates contributed to this story.You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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