Mountain lion rescued after wandering around downtown Santa Cruz apartment complex

A mountain lion was rescued after it was seen wandering around the Cypress Point apartment complex in downtown Santa Cruz for several hours Thursday.

The Santa Cruz Police Department responded at about 4:25 p.m. to reports of a mountain lion sighting at the complex located at 101 Felix Street. Officers discovered the big cat behind apartment No. 15 and California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials arrived soon after.

Residents were advised to stay clear of the area while authorities tried for a few hours to capture the animal, described as a mature adult. Once tranquilized, the mountain lion was walked out of the complex and placed inside of a cage before being transported to another location.

Earlier this week, Patch reported that a mountain lion had been spotted on the Westside, in the area of Mission and Bay Streets. Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed that they had been attempting to capture a lion spotted in the area.

Cypress Point resident John Panilla said he walked outside when he saw a large number of police squad cars in the complex to find out what happened.

“The officer told me there was a mountain lion that came down and has been there for a few hours,” he said. Pinilla, who has lived at Cypress Point for four years, hadn’t seen a mountain lion in the apartment complex before but said that it wouldn’t surprise him if such a thing had happened before.

When asked how the other residents reacted upon seeing the lion, he said they were “almost welcoming.”

“They think it’s sweet and cute and I think so too but, you know, you gotta be careful. It is a mountain lion.”