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VIDEO, PHOTOS: Meet Whiting Ranch's Captive Cougar

The teen mountain lion, captured early Tuesday in the regional park, is being relocated to a cat sanctuary.

Ask the captured teen cougar anything and it will have one answer for you: a deep-throated, predatory growl.

The big cat, which was captured in Whiting Ranch early Tuesday, got the paparazzi treatment that afternoon at Lake Forest's , where it was surrounded by wide-eyed shutterbugs as it reclined in a cage in a clinic backroom.

The low rumble emitted by the male cougar reveals uneasiness, said Scott Weldy, the veterinarian who tranquilized the beast on Tuesday and cared for it in the aftermath of the incident.

"He's trapped," Weldy said. "He's a predator and now he's stuck."

Blood tests and treatment for ticks were among the medical services the cat received after it was nabbed in the park.

Wardens first tried to chase off the mountain lion, but it did not leave the Serrano Cow Trail area, so they instead set a trap for it.

The cat is scheduled to be sedated again Tuesday evening and transported to the Feline Conservation Center in Rosamond, CA. Weldy said it has not yet been decided where the lion will be housed on a permanent basis.

State Fish and Game wardens initially theorized that a female mountain lion was wandering the regional park, but after capturing the approximately 100-pound male cat said they believe it was the same one .

It's unlikely the animal—estimated between 1 and 2 years of age, comparable to a teenager in cat years—was living with its mother, said Capt. Dan Sforza of the Department of Fish and Game.

Had the cat's parents been around, they would likely have interfered with the trap set around midnight Monday by game wardens, he said.

ms.sc. July 18, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I enjoyed your link very much! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. I wish you continued success, health and safety on your future hikes! Please keep us posted! P.S. nice family photo and it's great your children are so active and you teach them how fun it is to do as a family! Kudos Jeremy for the "smile-of-the-day"! :)
Cindy Favata July 19, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I'm from "rural" Washington state-lived there 20 years-you best respect nature when you went off the beaten path, some folks just become so complacent that they forget really whose territory it is, live and let live...I'm really saddened to see that beautiful young Cougars life has been altered...by humans :(
Lady Golfnut July 19, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Everything about this capture was wrong wrong wrong! Hikers/bikers/runners that visit Whiting Ranch WILDERNESS are given plenty of warning of the wildlife they MAY encounter! Frankly I'm more afraid of the mountain bikers that CLEARLY exceed the 10 MPH signs throughout the park! This beautiful animal should have been left alone in HIS OWN Habitat! There's my rant for the day!
steve July 23, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Certain lions are removed from so. county wilderness parks for a specific reason and rangers are very calculated in the reason why the would remove such an important animal from our area's delicate ecosystem. O.C's mountain lion population has remained steady and healthy over the past 10 years despite millions upon millions of hikers, equestrians and mtn. bikers recreating in local wilderness areas. This shows that the lions in O.C. are highly adaptable and peacefully coexist with people considering each lion may witness hundreds of humans using trails on any given weekend. Because of this notion, when a lion displays unusual behavior local officials must investigate the animal for a few reasons. First is to avoid lawsuit but more importantly is to protect the lions public image. Yes, just like people animals carry a reputation which is manufactured by media. Officials that manage our local wilderness areas do an amazing job and realize that the worse thing for lions in our local area would be negative media that would occur as a result if this lion happened to attack a person. By trapping and removing this lion out of the park consider it insurance for ensuring that what small population of lions that do remain in our local wilderness may thrive. Just wanted to throw out a different point of view.
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