Mountain Lion Spotted Near Santa Rosa Mall Captured

Wildlife officials on Monday sedated and captured a mountain lion that hunkered down in a planter box near the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping mall, according to police.

The standoff between the wild cat and humans trying to catch it lasted multiple hours and prompted the closure of a downtown street, but it eventually came to a close when California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials tranquilized the animal and whisked it away.

Some curious onlookers watched the standoff unfold from afar, likely captivated by the rare sight that is a mountain lion on the prowl in the heart of the city's downtown area.

"We've had a lot of sightings here and there, usually on the east side of town where the urban interface kind of meets with the wildland, but not this far downtown," Santa Rosa Police Department Lt. John Snetsinger said.

The mountain lion was first spotted during the early morning hours, according to Snetsinger. Responding officers found it roaming the pavement outside the mall.

The big cat eventually hopped in a planter box and took cover, allowing police to set up a perimeter and call in reinforcements from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Wildlife officials used tranquilizers to sedate the mountain lion and later took it to an undisclosed location, according to Snetsinger.

B Street between 4th and 7th streets was closed while officials worked to corral the animal, but the area later reopened when the mountain lion was captured, police said.

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