Not only did Mountain View authorities trap and tranquilize a mountain lion inside a parking garage of an apartment complex, but the police department created a trending hashtag nationwide for a while during the excitement.
Shino Tanaka, the Mountain View police public safety social media coordinator, is credited with having the brainstorm to create the #MVPuma hashtag to alert the public about why their streets were closed and why police officers were swarming the 200 block of South Rengstorff Avenue near Central Expressway on Tuesday about 6 p.m. The animal was eventually tranquilized by wardens, and the big cat was released somewhere in San Mateo County just before midnight, according to state Fish and Game Lt. Andrew Hughhan. The 2-year-old male cat was part of the Santa Cruz Puma Project - a research group studying the behavior of mountain lions.
- RAW VIDEO: Mountain Lion Trapped in Parking Garage
Her idea took off like wildfire, and the Twitter handle @WhoTrendedIt gave her a shoutout about midnight, which noted it was trending in the United States.
Capt. Chris Hsiung, himself an avid social media buff, thought the buzz on Twitter was "hilarious."
More importantly, Hsiung added that he was just so glad the "tense standoff" with the lion "ended so well."
Any time there is a major emergency working in the city, the Mountain View police department creates a hashtag on Twitter for people to follow, to make it easier to find information in the morass of tweets.
Tanaka is "pretty sharp," Hsuing said, and her hashtag on the mountain lion "took off right away."
Not only did the police department alert residents what was going on with the mountain lion capture, but it gave residents a chance to chime in about their hometown - often with tongue-in-cheek remarks about the typically sleepy suburban Silicon Valley city.
"Ironically #MVPuma is next to Casa del Rey Apartments, even he's having difficulty finding affordable houseing in #mountainview," tweeted "Butterwort."
"The #MVPuma is hiding in a garage? Are you sure he's not just running a startup?" tweeted @JustJulie.
Perhaps "Butterwort" tweeted it best: "Sorry to everyone not in Mountain View about #MVPuma. This is the most excitedment we've had in this town since Crepevineopened on Castro St."