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Wild cougar wanders empty streets of Chile's capital


Published in Cats & Dogs News

(UPI) A wild cougar made its way to the Chilean capital and spent about 15 hours wandering the city's empty streets before being captured by police and veterinary specialists.

Authorities said the puma was first spotted in the city of Santiago around dawn Tuesday and investigators quickly confirmed that it was a wild animal, and not an escapee from the Metropolitan Zoo.

Police and the Agricultural and Livestock Service enlisted the help of specialists from the zoo to track the mountain lion as it wandered through multiple urban neighborhoods.

The animal was caught on video wandering through streets that had been emptied by the curfew imposed on the city amid the coronavirus epidemic.


Officials said wild cougars had entered the city before, but hadn't previously been documented in neighborhoods so far away from the Andes mountains.

The big cat managed to elude capture multiple times in the backyards of homes, a school campus and local businesses.

Police said the cougar was eventually shot with tranquilizer darts after about 15 hours of wandering the city and was taken to the Metropolitan Zoo, where it will be examined by veterinarians before being released in the mountains.

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