Mountain Lion Breaks into NorCal House, Locks Self in Bathroom

A family in Sonora was terrified when they recently received a late-night intruder into their home – one of the feline variety.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office received a call for help from a family reporting a mountain lion had broken into their home. Following a standoff between the cat and homeowner, they each were scared off and barricaded each other in a section of the home – the homeowner in the basement and the mountain lion in the upstairs bathroom.

The cat accidentally locked itself into the upstairs bathroom, making it very difficult to extract it from the home. Here is the account from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Photo: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Last Sunday evening, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office received a call for help from a family in Sonora with a mountain lion inside their house. The homeowner had left the front door open and the lion simply walked right in. When the cat and the homeowner saw each other, they were both startled and bolted in opposite directions. The lion first went into the office before making its way to a bathroom — where the door swung shut, trapping it inside.

Meanwhile, the homeowners secured themselves in the basement and called 911. Once CDFW wildlife officers arrived with tranquilizing equipment, all necessary personnel were on scene, and everyone put their heads together to think through possible solutions. Complicating matters was the fact the bathroom was on the second floor. Using an exterior ladder, officers climbed up to peer through the window to evaluate the situation.

Photo: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ultimately, they decided to see if the lion might be persuaded to come out on its own, without being darted. With the homeowners’ permission, they used a 2×4 piece of wood to smash the window and remove as much glass as possible, providing an escape route. When the coast was clear, the sheriff’s deputies pounded on the interior door and made a ruckus, which in turn prompted the lion to make a quick exit through the broken window. The cat did exactly as the officers hoped, taking a step onto the top rung of the ladder before leaping away and dashing off into the darkness.

What a terrifying story! Can you imagine being locked in your own home with a mountain lion? We’re glad everyone emerged from the incident unscathed and the cat was able to flee without being tranquilized. Great job by everyone.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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