Cougar seen on deserted streets as nature reclaims coronavirus-quarantined city

A wild puma has been filmed stalking the streets of a deserted city which had been placed on lockdown due to coronavirus.

In the video, recorded yesterday, the powerfully-built animal takes advantage of the curfew to roam through a car park and public walkway.

But, spooked by a policeman and a photographer, the beast suddenly breaks into a run, looking panicked while trying to find an escape route in the concrete jungle.

It then leaps over a two-metre high fence with its powerful back legs, vanishing into someone’s garden.

The bizarre incident was filmed in the Chilean capital of Santiago and authorities confirmed they were later able to capture the wild beast, which they said was frightened.

Police said it had prowled into a school to try to evade capture but was safely tranquillised and taken to a zoo where it will be looked after until it can be returned to the wild.

The cougar was an adult male weighing 35kg, Prensa Latina reports.

Chile has 922 confirmed cases of coronavirus and two deaths related to COVID-19, the disease it causes.

In response to the pandemic, the government has closed schools and imposed a nighttime curfew to try and hinder the spread of the highly-contagious virus.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions in the US, are normally shy animals but have been known to attack and kill humans.

Last year, a mum fought a cougar who had grabbed her son by prying the animal's jaws open in a terrifying battle.

And a man was left battered and bloody after a cougar leaped on top of him and tried to kill him while he was out running.

Luckily, he had the strength to fight the animal off and choked it to death, but was left with permanent facial scars.

  • Animals
  • Coronavirus

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