A new cougar walked in the early hours of this Thursday through an urbanized sector of Santiago de Chile, becoming the second specimen that is captured while prowling the streets of the capital taking advantage of the nocturnal stillness that has been breathed since a curfew was decreed. by the coronavirus.
According to residents of another neighborhood in the capital, a third cougar was sighted on March 25, however, this time, and after a three-hour operation, the authorities were unable to find the animal.
The last cougar sighted was captured this day by members of the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) in the commune of Colina, in the north of the capital, with the help of staff from the Metropolitan Zoo, in an operation similar to that deployed with the first cougar. last March 24.
As indicated by the deputy director of the Agricultural and Livestock Service of the Metropolitan Region, Juan Valenzuela, the presence of the animal in the city, which normally lives in areas of the Andes and foothills of the Andes, is due to “the absence of human beings as a result of the curfew”.
Valenzuela added that the area where the animal was found in the past “a place where cougars hunted”, and explained that the incursion into the city is also due to the food shortage caused by the drought that Chile has been experiencing in the last decade .
The country is under a state of emergency due to catastrophe due to the outbreak of COVID-19, under the prohibition of taking to the streets from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am the next day, with classes suspended and with all shops closed except those of first necessity.
Chile, which registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 3, has already confirmed a total of 3,404 infected and 18 deceased.
Although the area where this third puma was found is not under compulsory quarantine, this measure does apply in six neighborhoods of the capital, and in some localities of the country, including Rapa Nui Island.
As on previous occasions, several neighbors sighted the cougar and were able to capture images of the animal walking through the streets to alert the authorities.
After being captured, the animal was sedated and transferred to the Veterinary Hospital of the Metropolitan Zoo to be checked and later returned to its natural habitat.
As explained by Efe the veterinarian Rafael Asenjo, the director of the department of wild animals of the SAG, “wild animals have lived with humans forever, and more so now, that in addition to cougars we can also see birds of prey such as condors.”