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Mountain lion sighting prompts lockdowns at two California schools

The cat, an adult female, was captured and tranquilized when she didn't leave.

Two Northern California schools were placed on lockdown Monday after a mountain lion was seen nearby, authorities said.

The cat, described as an adult female, was first seen on a creek path Monday morning just east of Evergreen Elementary School in Rohnert Park, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, the city’s public safety department said.

A tranquilized mountain lion.Courtesy Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety

Evergreen and a middle school, Lawrence Jones, were locked down around 8 a.m. as local authorities waited for wildlife experts and officers from the state Department of Fish and Game.

“We would like the mountain lion to move back to her home on her own,” the department said.

A few hours later, the department said she had been captured and tranquilized when she didn’t leave on her own. The experts planned to return the cat, which wears a GPS tracking device, to its home, authorities said.

She usually roams around Taylor Mountain Regional Park, a few miles north of Rohnert Park, a local wildlife researcher told the Press Democrat newspaper of Santa Rosa.

The researcher, Quinton Martins, said the cat has a rare neurological disorder that causes her to move slowly and awkwardly.

According to the Mountain Lion Foundation, mountain lions rarely attack humans. “You are more likely to drown in your bathtub, be killed by a pet dog or hit by lightning,” the group said.