A mountain lion that had been caught and tagged just last month in San Francisco died after being hit by a car Friday morning along Highway 1 in Pacifica, authorities said.
Officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the young male cougar, about 12-18 months old, was found on the shoulder of the northbound lanes of the highway and identified it as the same big cat that was wandering the Mission Bay neighborhood near Oracle Park in San Francisco on June 18.
The mountain lion was found about 7:30 a.m. near the Skyline Boulevard off-ramp, according to the California Highway Patrol. The vehicle that hit the animal apparently didn't stop.
The cougar seemed disoriented as it roamed the San Francisco streets for two days until he was spotted by a police officer that June day near Oracle Park, a spokesman for SFPD said.
Officers set up a perimeter and waited for animal control officials to arrive. They safely captured the 50-pound cat in an apartment building’s green area with lots of shrubbery without the use of sedatives, Animal Care and Control said.
They tagged the animal and released it back into the wild.
About 75 to 100 mountain lions are hit and killed each year in California, officials said.
Bay City News contributed to this report.