Mountain lion
The mountain lion "P-45" was captured and tagged in 2015 and may have killed upwards of 50 animals. Courtesy National Park Service

A mountain lion was spotted in Newport Beach Friday, and authorities said it is likely the same cat seen earlier this month in Laguna Beach.

The lion was spotted in the Port Streets neighborhood near Andersen Elementary School, according to Newport Beach police.

The school was put on alert while authorities searched for the lion, which authorities believe to be M317, a collared cat that was seen in Laguna Beach earlier this month and at an Irvine shopping center in late March. The lion is one being tracked by a UC Davis research group.

“It appears to be the same mountain lion,” said Tim Daly of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A wildlife officer is on scene and a biologist was on the way to help if authorities find the lion, Daly said.

“Once the lion is found if we can dart it and get it out of Newport Beach we’ll bring it back to a suitable habitat,” Daly said. “That’s assuming it doesn’t become a public safety issue.”

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