Firefighters and wildlife officials teamed up to retrieve a young mountain lion that was up a tree in a Hesperia neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
A homeowner spotted the lion high up in a tree and reported it to officials, San Bernardino County Fire Department Capt. Jeff Allen said in a written statement.
Firefighters responded, “arriving several minutes later to find a large mountain lion perched in a tree approximately 50 feet above the ground,” Allen said.
Officials cordoned of the area, summoned California Department of Fish & Wildlife officials and began formulating a plan to get the massive feline out of the tree, he said.
Officials tranquilized the animal about 4:20 p.m.
“County Firefighters approached the animal using a ladder,” Allen explained. “The lion was secured into a rescue harness and eventually lowered safely to the ground, where it was evaluated by a Fish & Wildlife biologist.”
Once the lion regained consciousness, it was released back into the wild.
It’s not unusual for young mountain lions to wander outside their normal habitats while attempting to expand their territory, officials said. But a lion so close to a neighborhood is not safe.
“Leaving the lion in the tree would not have been safe for the community,” Fish & Wildlife Warden Rick Fischer said. While attacks on humans are rare, mountain lions are known to prey upon pets and livestock.