Cougar Found In California Mall Parking Lot

A full-grown cougar was found wandering the busy parking lot of Temecula – California’s Promenade Mall.

According to Press-Enterprise, the Department of Fish and Wildlife were called approximately around 6 a.m. Someone from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department contacted the Fish and Wildlife wardens, who arrived at the scene around 7 a.m. Once at the mall parking lot, they spotted the cougar and shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

Lieutenant Kyle Chang of the Fish and Wildlife Department had a few things to say about the parking lot situation.

For one, the cat was an actual cougar/mountain lion and not a bobcat, as many cougar sightings turn out to be. According to the same source, Lt. Chang arrived on the scene to find the cougar in the parking lot, under a commercial semi’s trailer. A warden shot the cat with a tranquilizer.

This cougar’s life met an early end, according to further statements from a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, reports KTLA-5.

“A lot of times they’re seeking habitat for themselves and the suitable habitat has been taken. So they range into what would be, for a mountain lion, unsuitable.”

The general consensus would possibly agree that a highly-populated mall parking lot is an unsuitable place for a 125-pound cougar.

There were no reported cougar attacks at the mall — likewise, no injuries or fatalities. The only reported event was after the cougar was shot. It bumped into the mall’s doors, jumped the fence, and died.

Biologist Kevin Brennan shared his opinion on where the cougar may have originated. He said it was unclear where the cat came from, but pointed out the possibility of it coming from the nearby Santa Rosa Plateau. Given the rarity of mountain lions crossing the Interstate 15, he also believes it may have also come from the Mt. San Jacinto area.

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[Photo by J. T. Chapman/Shutterstock]