Mountain Lion Roaming San Francisco Bernal Heights Neighborhood Brought To Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo
May 20, 2021
Dr. Alex Herman, Vice President of Veterinary Services, performing a complete examination of ‘Mr. Handsome’, the two-year-old male Mountain lion, we received temporary care and a thorough physical exam at Oakland Zoo's Veterinary Hospital before being released in Santa Clara County by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CADFW); Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo

Oakland, CA – May 20, 2021… Oakland Zoo assisted with the rescue of a two-year-old male mountain lion found in San Francisco this morning byCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife (CADFW) officers. He was transported to Oakland Zoo for a temporary stay while receiving a complete exam, blood work, and preventative care vaccines.


Mr. Handsome, unofficially named by Oakland Zoo veterinary staff, was placed in a holding area of the Zoo's Veterinary Hospital overnight until examinations this morning. He was determined to have a total bill of health- strong, hydrated, and at a healthy weight of 98.5 lbs. He was treated for internal and external parasites (common in wildlife) and given vaccinations during his exam.


'Long-range travel' into urban neighborhoods isn't out of the ordinary for mountain lions of this age. Mountain lions are long-ranging species known to exhibit 'dispersing behavior', causing them to travel long distances searching for food, good homes, and mates. 


"We take pride in doing our part to help rescue and protect animals in the wild, through our partnerships and collaboration with CDFW, Bay Area Puma Project, and the San Francisco PoliceDepartment” says Dr. Herman, Vice President of VeterinaryServices at Oakland Zoo. 


Mr. Handsome is currently on his way to be released in a rural, unpopulated area of SantaClara County by CDFW, to continue living freely in the wild.  


Mountain lions face numerous threats in California, often struck by cars, killed with depredation permits, and illegal poaching. These factors culminate in the human-wildlife conflict, putting them at odds with humans, encroaching urban areas and developments. Oakland Zoo partners with conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to educate the public on the issue and help conserve the species in the wild.

Mr. Handsome, unofficially named by Oakland Zoo's veterinary staff, awaiting examinations by staff in a temporary holding area of the Zoo's Veterinary Hospital; Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo


Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, an alliance with theBay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help support theCADFW to save mountain lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict.




Isabella Linares

Oakland Zoo


Erin Harrison

Oakland Zoo






Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850 native and exotic animals, is managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC); anon-profit organization leading an informed and inspired community to take action for wildlife locally and globally. With over 25 conservation partners and projects worldwide, the CSC is committed to conservation-based education and saving species and their habitats in the wild. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.