A mountain lion that was tranquilized last week outside a Utah mall died in captivity over the weekend.
The mountain lion wandered far from the mountains to the Jordan Commons mall in Sandy, Utah on Friday.
Of all places, the wayward cat decided to bed down outside the entrance of a steakhouse.
“He was kind of just sitting in this little cove in the stairwell of the restaurant right there,” bystander Leesha Francis told KUTV.
Police arrived on the scene and shot the cat with a tranquilizer, but it managed to escape to a train line near the mall.
Here’s some footage of the cat leaving the mall:
Wildlife officers later found and tranquilized the lion in some shrubs by the train tracks.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the state Department of Wildlife Resources was going to release the lion back into the mountain on Sunday morning, but it unexpectedly died on Saturday.
Scott Root, a DNR outreach officer, said wildlife biologists will run some tests on the big cat to get a better picture of its health before it died.
“Wildlife deaths can occasionally occur during tranquilization,” said Scott Root, a DNR outreach officer. “The fact that this cougar was in a highly populated area suggests that something may not have been normal with this animal.”
Check out these incredible mountain lion videos:
Have you had a close encounter with a mountain lion?