By Laura Haefeli

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – A mountain lion spotted in Citrus Heights on Monday has neighbors on high alert.

A 911 call came into the local police department saying the animal was up in a tree.

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Homeowner Keith Dunham’s daughter spotted the animal first.

“I heard her start screaming, ‘Daddy, help me daddy, daddy!'” says Keith Dunham.

The big cat was climbing up into a tree in his front yard.

“He had to be 200 pounds, six feet long. When he was crawling around in the tree it seemed like the whole thing would shake,” said Dunham.

Back in 2019, a mountain lion was caught on a home surveillance camera in the Natomas neighborhood of Sacramento.

We asked Fish & Wildlife, what brings the mountain lion to city streets?

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Spokesperson Peter Tira says it’s likely young lions that have left their mother and are trying to find their way in the wild for the first time.

“What we see this time of year is young dispersing mountain lions. They’re trying to find territory trying to find food. It’s probably lost and a little bit confused,” said Tira.

The animal did make its way out of the Citrus Heights neighborhood by hopping the fence to a nearby cemetery.

“Oftentimes these animals are good at getting out of these situations on their own,” said Tira.

The animal hasn’t been seen since.

CBS13 called the East Lawn Cemetery right around the corner, they say they never saw the animal.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife says it’s likely made its way back to the wild.

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The agency recommends keeping your pets inside and if you do see the mountain lion, call 911.