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Mountain Lion Wanders Onto Campus Of High School

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A high school was briefly on lockdown after a mountain lion was spotted on campus, postponing lunch for a school of hungry teenagers.

LAPD officers searched the campus of John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills (appropriate, home of the Golden Cougars) for the animal just after noon on Friday. A school employee told KTLA that the big cat was first spotted around 7 a.m., Friday morning, but a second sighting around noon was what prompted the lockdown.

Granada Hills lies in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains, near Porter Ranch.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife Information Officer Andrew Hughan told LAist that a game warden with CDFW was on site with the officers and assisting in the capture. While Hughan described the procedure as akin to that of a SWAT team, he said officials would make every effort to tranquilize the animal and safely release it back into the wild.

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Around 12:40 p.m., the animal was spotted leaving the campus and running into the front yard of a nearby home:

Live video: Mountain lion gallops past law enforcement vehicle in Granada Hills area

— KTLA (@KTLA) April 15, 2016

Around 12:45 the cat began to stagger around the front yard—showing effects of a tranquilizer—and officials began to slowly circle the animal to capture it.

While certainly a tense moment, the JFK High students handled it with the typical aplomb one would expect from teens:

Mountain lion or not, it's business as usual at JFK:

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Update [4:00]: Per CBS 2/KCAL's Jeff Nguyen, the mountain lion was a male that was about 90 pounds. According to City News Service, the cat was not previously tagged or known by Fish & Wildlife officials, but will be tagged before rerelease into the Santa Susana Mountains.

(The lion's disheveled appearance is due to it being hosed down by officials in order to cool its body temperature.)

Nguyen also obtained cell phone footage of the animal as it staggered about the front yard of a Granada Hills home after being shot by a tranquilizer dart. The video was shot by a resident inside the home:

Cell phone video of mountain lion after it was hit with tranquilizer. Courtesy: Cody Romero

— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) April 15, 2016
KCAL9 at 4p: The effort to capture mountain lion that ran through Kennedy HS in Granada Hills.

— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) April 15, 2016