A third puma has been found wandering the empty streets of the Chilean capital, Santiago, since neighbourhoods have been told to shelter in place.

City officials were called to respond to this latest big cat sighting, sedating the cat and releasing it in the wild after a health check at Santiago zoo.

Since the city of 6 million inhabitants fell quiet, Santiago officials have had to respond to two other sightings of mountain lions who have moved into the streets emptied by the coronavirus.

"They sense less noise and are also looking for new places to find food and some get lost and appear in the cities," Horacio Bórquez, Chile's national director of livestock and agriculture service, told BBC Latin America.


Droughts in the surrounding countryside has forced the Andean mountain lions to search for food in other areas, some venturing into built up areas.

Last week a female puma captured in Chicureo, just north of the city, was found in a residential area weighing 22kg and suffering from dehydration and other injuries.

In South Africa the county's similarly strict restrictions on movement have tempted big cats into residential areas.

Residents of the L'Ormarins wine estate in Franschhoek, were surprised by a late night visitor captured on their CCTV. Sharing the clip to twitter, what appears to be a female Cape leopard is spotted prowling round the outside of the house.

She's "probably investigating where all the humans have disappeared to..." responded one Twitter user.

A Cape leopard's range is between 200 and 1,000 square kilometers according to Africa Geographic, far more extensive than savanna cats. However, they rarely stray into areas inhabited by humans.

These big cat sightings have been of greater concern, and considerably less entertaining, than the flock of mountain goats who were filmed taking over the town of Llandudno in north Wales, last week.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website