- San Bernardino County Fire officials removed a mountain lion from a tree in a backyard of a home in Hesperia, California, on Saturday.
- The homeowner was gardening when they spotted the big cat perched on a 50-foot-high (15-metre-high) tree branch.
- Officials tranquilised the cat while removing it, and after it evaluated by wildlife experts it was released back into the wild.
Firefighters in California are known for rescuing cats from trees – but things get a little bit more difficult when the cat is a big mountain lion.
San Bernardino County Fire officials had to remove a large mountain lion from a backyard in Hesperia, California, after residents spotted the big cat perched on a 50-foot-high tree branch.
The homeowner discovered the cat on Saturday when they were gardening, authorities said in a Facebook post about the incident.
Staff from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife had to tranquilise the big cat before firefighters could get close to it.
Once the cat was sedated, officials used a ladder to reach it, then lowered the cat from the tree using a harness, officials said.
The mountain lion was then evaluated by wildlife experts and released back into the wild.
Fish & Wildlife Warden Rick Fischer said in a press release posted by San Bernardino County Fire that while it is rare for mountain lions to attack humans, the cats have been known to attack livestock and family pets.
“Leaving the lion in the tree would not have been safe for the community,” Fischer said.
The Hesperia home where the cat was found is about 80 miles from Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert. Hesperia borders the San Bernardino Mountains to the south.
“It is common for young mountain lions to wander outside what some would consider normal habitat in an attempt to establish their territory,” Fish & Wildlife biologist Kevin Brennan told San Bernardino County Fire.
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