Mountain lion turns up at L.A. high school, home of the Cougars

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 15, 2016 7:52 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A mountain lion found its way onto the grounds of a Los Angeles high school on Friday, prompting police to lock down the campus before the big cat was shot with tranquilizer darts a few blocks away.

No one was injured in the incident at John F. Kennedy High School, said Andrew Hughan of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the mountain lion was transported to a safe habitat in the nearby Santa Susana Mountains.

Students at the high school and residents, meanwhile, celebrated the sighting on social media and live-tweeted its capture on Twitter. Ironically, the high school - located in Granada Hills - has the mascot of a "Golden Cougar".

"Get lectured in class oooorrrr get killed by a mountain lion," @gisellede_leon said in a widely shared tweet. "It was nice knowing yall."

Hughan said the Los Angeles Police Department first began getting reports of the animal on campus between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. PT and locked down the school before summoning game wardens.

"By this time it had run away from school, which was good for everybody involved, it ran two or three blocks away where they were able to put a dart in it and it went down in the front yard of a house," he said.

He said Fish and Game officers would wait for the cougar to wake up but expected that it would recover with little long-term effects from the incident.

"He'll just wake up with a headache, look around and go 'Where the heck am I?'" Hughan said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bernard Orr)