ALTURAS, Calif. — A mountain lion that took an interest in a chicken coop in the northeastern California city of Alturas was captured and returned to the wild.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the young, female mountain lion was spotted Tuesday around a backyard coop and was scared off, but returned to the coop on Wednesday and was also spotted elsewhere around the rural Modoc County community.

Authorities initially pursued the cat to encourage it to leave town, but on Thursday it was treed in a populated area and a decision was made to dart it and physically remove it.

“This is what we consider a ‘no-harm, no-foul’ lion. This particular lion hadn’t caused any harm or any damage. It hadn’t behaved unusually. It tried its best to avoid people,” said Tina Bartlett, a regional Fish and Wildlife manager.

The mountain was described as a healthy, female yearling.

Bartlett said the lion likely separated from its mother only recently and was out on its own for the first time.

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