MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) — A young male mountain lion that wandered into a Mountain View apartment complex on Tuesday evening was likely looking for a mate, and has been safely returned to its natural habitat, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.

According to Lt. Pat Foy, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, wardens released the big cat into the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space following its capture.

“We try to find a suitable habitat within reasonable proximity to where the animal was captured,” Foy said.

According to Mountain View police, the mountain lion was initially spotted around 6:45 p.m. in the 200 block of South Rengstorff Avenue.

“He is looking for mates.  He’s not going to find them in downtown Mountain View,” Chris Wilmers of the Puma Project said.

Related: Mountain Lion Cornered In Apartment Complex

The mountain lion was eventually cornered in the 2000 block of California Street and a state game warden safely tranquilized the animal while police advised residents in the area to stay indoors.

“He was moving back and stuck his butt out.  So, I was able to shoot the dart through my window, and got him right in the butt,” Wilmers said.

Foy credited University of California at Santa Cruz’s Puma Project for helping to safely capture and release the cat.

The mountain lion was a research subject identified as ’46M’ for the UC Santa Cruz project and was wearing a tracking collar when he was discovered wandering in Mountain View.

“The folks at the Puma Project were extremely helpful and responsive,” said Foy, who said local game wardens didn’t have the proper equipment on hand to transport the animal once it was tranquilized.

“He’s healthy and we’re hoping he will do well and will behave himself out there,” Foy said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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