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Mountain lion goes shopping, hangs outside steakhouse

The police had to go and tranquillise him…

UTAH AUTHORITIES CAPTURED a mountain lion Friday that startled people but didn’t hurt anybody at a shopping centre in a Salt Lake City suburb.

The mountain lion was spotted walking across a street and into Jordan Commons in Sandy, Utah, just before eight am, Sandy police sergeant Dean Carriger said.

Officers found the female cat hunkered down at the entrance of a steakhouse. Though it was early, there were dozens of people coming and going, many of whom work at a nearby office building, Carriger said.

Some were taking pictures and videos of the mountain lion while others were unaware the cat was there, he said.

“I was scared,” Leesha Francis told KUTV. She works at an office tower and saw the cat along with co-worker Maddie Gilbert who said, “It was a little bit shocking.”

Mountain Lion Shopping Center Source: AP

When the cat came running out, an officer fired one shot but missed, Carriger said.

“He was concerned there was imminent danger to the public,” Carriger said.

The mountain lion ran away, jumped over a fence and hid in the brush near a commuter train line. Two wildlife officers arrived and cornered the cat with the help of the fences around the train tracks, hitting it with a tranquilliser gun about an hour and a half after it was first spotted, Carriger said.

Mountain Lion Shopping Center Source: AP

The cat is about two years old and weighs about 100 pounds, said Scott Root, spokesman for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The cat wasn’t acting aggressively and doesn’t have a history of being caught, so she’ll be given a “second chance,” Root said on Friday.

However, late Friday, the lion passed away. The 100-pound cat never regained consciousness from the effects after it was shot. It is unusual for wildlife to die under sedation but not unheard of, Root said.

Because the 2-year-old mountain lion was in a highly populated area, something may already have been wrong with it, Root told The Salt Lake Tribune.

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