Patrons of Harrah's Casino said the animal wandered under a nearby stage early Friday, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Police cornered it there shortly after 5 a.m. and stunned it with a tranquilizer gun.
Teresa Moiola, education and conservation chief for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said the young male big cat, which appeared to be healthy, would be returned to the wild once it passed a medical examination and recovered from the anesthesia. It was taken to Carson City to be equipped with a radio collar that will allow biologists to track its movements.
Experts believe the mountain lion followed the Truckee River into Reno. Moiola said the cat, which weighs somewhere between 90 and 100 pounds, is at an age when males go wandering.
"The age of the animal tells us it's at a normal dispersal age," Moiola said. "It is normal for them at this age to be striking out alone."