A mountain lion used the roof of a shed as a springboard to leap from yard to yard Monday as it roamed a neighborhood in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The agile big cat was eventually tranquilized and returned to the wild by wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Video from the agency showed the drowsy mountain lion shaking off the effects of the tranquilizer.
The mountain was first reported in the 600 block of West Virginia Ann Drive. Agents with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the location east of Los Angeles.
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The mountain lion leaped over at least one fence, bounding off the roof of a shed, as it walked through yards. Wardens tranquilized the mountain lion and transported it in the bed of a pickup back the mountains.
The mountain lion population is high in California, relative to other parts of the United States. Density estimates vary, but the figure might be as high as 10 lions per 100 square miles. By that estimate, the population is somewhere between 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions statewide.
But it's difficult to say whether that population is increasing or decreasing without an ongoing statewide study.
One thing is certain -- mountain lions go where they can find food, primarily deer. That sometimes brings them into urban areas, but it should be noted that a person is 1,000 times more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. There have been only 16 verified mountain lion attacks in California since 1890, six of which were fatal, according to the agency.
The department receives hundreds of reports each year about mountain lions killing pets and livestock.
Mountain lions are a specially protected species in California under the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990, approved as Prop 117 by California voters. The classification has nothing to do with mountain lion numbers in California, but its passage made it illegal to hunt the big cats.