Zoo workers rescue puma in Santiago de Chile (VIDEO)

SANTIAGO – Workers of the Chilean National Zoo (Zoológico Nacional de Chile) yesterday rescued a puma in the capital, Santiago, after it spent at least one night trapped atop a tree, in a residential neighborhood.

Parts of the hours-long rescue effort were broadcast live on Chilean TV channels, as officials from the metropolitan zoo used tranquilizer darts to calm the wild cat, which eventually fell through the branches of a 15-metre-tall pine tree, in the garden of a residence, in the city’s outlying Lo Barnechea district.

Rescuers had placed mattresses around the tree to cushion the cat’s fall.

“It fell on top of the mattresses,” zoo director, Alejandra Montalva, told reporters at the site.

The puma (also called cougar), a young male, that had climbed the tree on Wednesday, was retrieved, after two earlier failed attempts. The wild cat will be returned to his natural habitat, in three to five days, following a period of observation.

South America’s first White Rhino to make public debut at Chile’s Buin Zoo