WEST FARGO — It was a rare sight in West Fargo Tuesday morning, March 31, as residents in an apartment building near Rendezvous Park spotted a mountain lion in a tree.
According to the West Fargo Police Department, the call came in of a mountain lion sighting at 9:30 a.m. from the 3200 block of Ninth Street West in West Fargo.
West Fargo police, along with North Dakota Game & Fish, responded to the scene.
Mike Wilhelmi, the person who made the call to authorities, had to do a double take when he first saw the lion.
"I come outside, and there's a mountain lion in the tree," he said with a laugh. "That's not normal."
Michelle Rustad, another neighbor, started taking pictures from her third-floor balcony.
"Just in the eyes, it didn't look right, and it was wet — probably from going through the water," she said. "Maybe that's how it ended up here."
Police and Game & Fish decided to put the lion down after seeing that it looked sick and it was near an occupied building.
Jeb Williams, the chief of the department's wildlife division, said shooting it was the right move to make.
"When you have a mountain lion within city limits, there's something going on there that isn't right," he said. "(For) that mountain lion, that's not its natural habitat."
People living in the apartment building said the situation could've been a lot worse.
"It's a mountain lion sitting next to a bunch of apartments, next to a park," Wilhelmi said. "I'd hate to see anyone get hurt."
The lion will be sent to Game & Fish in Bismarck for a necropsy.