SANTIAGO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chilean television viewers were gripped on Thursday as zoo workers 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 as officials from the metropolitan zoo used tranquilizer darts to calm the wild cat, which eventually fell through the branches of a 15-meter-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, 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.