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Mountain lion tranquilized at California shopping center

By Ben Hooper

April 28 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said a young mountain lion that apparently got "lost" and ended up at a shopping center was safely relocated.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said a man walking Thursday morning near the East Cliff Village Shopping Center in Twin Lakes spotted the mountain lion hanging out in a tree next to the sign at the entrance to the center.

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"Even pumas get lost every once in a while," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.

Deputies set up from a safe distance to tranquilize the big cat, the post said.

Researchers from the University of California-Santa Cruz's The Puma Project were called to the scene and they gave the 80-pound male cougar a brief physical and confirmed he was sleeping soundly under the influence of tranquilizers.

The mountain lion was fitted with a tracking collar and California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the cougar, officially dubbed "84M," would be released back into his habitat after a short rest.

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