SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- It was the most unusual of sights: A mountain lion at the mall - exactly where it did not belong.
The animal was reported at the Santa Rosa Plaza in California.
Passers-by first noticed the mountain lion resting in a planter attached to the Macy's store.
Once 50-pound mountain lion fell asleep, the experts moved in and carried it away. They then released it into the wilderness.
Mountain lion researcher Dr. Quinton Martins, with the Living With Lions Project, described what he saw Monday as a juvenile mountain lion, probably local, and on the search for the territory it can call home.
He said it's no easy task.
"They are moving and moving until they can find a gap in the landscape to settle down and that may take a couple of years," Dr. Martins said.
Generally speaking, they pose no threat to humans.
If you were there on Monday, Dr. Martins said chances are you scared it more than it might have scared you.
Dr. Martins speculated that this creature has been roaming, which is normal behavior for an 18-month-old mountain lion that has been evicted by its mother.
There is a creek with access to local wilderness near the mall .
"This is perfect habitat for them," said Dr. Martins.
No one was injured during the surprise appearance at the mall.
Mountain lion tranquilized outside of Macy's in California