by Rob Malcolm


SONORA (CBS13) — A mountain lion made itself comfortable inside a Sonora family’s bathroom after getting trapped in the house Sunday. And getting it out was not an easy feat.

Captain Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s unusual but not unheard of to have a mountain lion enter someone’s home.

“I’ve been around for 23 years never used to see this happen, and in but in the last four years or so we’ve had about one a year where a lion actually goes into somebody’s house,” Foy said.

Foy said the homeowner and the lion interacted and the lion got scared and tried to run away, not knowing exactly where to go, and ended up in a bathroom.

READ: Mountain Lion Sighting In Cameron Park

The juvenile mountain lion made its way into a home on Oakhaven Lane in Sonora Sunday night. A picture from the incident has neighbors in Tuolumne County talking.

“The size of his paws were terrifying. When I looked at it and zoomed in on the paws, it was terrifying to see,” Samantha Huebner said.

Foy said once the lion got stuck in the house, it was stressed. Discovering it was out of options, the cat decided to take a nap on the bathroom floor, and no one was about to wake it up. Foy said the lion might have been searching for meat in the house.

“They are pure carnivores not like bears, bears will eat anything. Lions eat meat, they may be looking for the pet if there’s a pet in the house,” Foy said.

Sandra Gregory lives next door.

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“Two months ago we actually had two mountain lions on our property that ate five of our chickens,” Gregory said. “We were terrified because one of them was stuck in the coop and there was another one standing in the front of our driveway.”

With the help of wildlife officers, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies considered tranquilizer guns to remove the cat, but in the end, they used a more creative method, closing the door and breaking the window to create an escape route.

“They closed the bathroom door, broke the window out, and then banged on the door to scare the lion into jumping out the window, which it did and then ultimately it ran off,” Foy said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife does not consider a mountain lion sighting near houses a public safety concern, only if the cat is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

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