A mountain lion was released back into California’s Santa Ana mountains on July 29 after spending two weeks rehabilitating at a nearby wildlife center.
The one-year-old male lion was brought to San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center on July 13 after multiple reported sightings around the Orange County neighborhood, the society wrote in a press release.
The center’s Project Wildlife veterinary team performed lab work, X-rays, a dental exam, parasite treatment, and gave the lion fluids to ensure he was ready for independent survival in his home territory, the society said.
“Mountain lions are in many communities in Southern California, but it is important to remember they need to remain wild at heart and not get comfortable around people — for everyone’s safety,” said operations and wildlife rehabilitation director Christine Barton. “They are special predators and we are proud to have an expert team trusted by the state of California in this pilot program to care for the species here at the Ramona Wildlife Center.”
This footage filmed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shows the lion leaping into the wild upon release. Credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife via Storyful