Deputies with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office responded.
Deputies and officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were able to get the animal out of the house after it was cornered in a bathroom on the second floor.
“The perpetrator slyly made his way through the open front door of the home. He did not threaten the resident or steal anything. After being spotted, he tried to make a run for it but ended up cornered in a bathroom. Fish and Wildlife were contacted and assisted our deputies in coaxing the mountain lion out of the second story bathroom window. He did get a stern warning about the break-in before being released,” the office stated.
Edward Sudduth, 84, told Fox 40 that the mountain lion ended up in the bathroom of their Sonora home after chasing a cat into the room.
“We were just watching television and then all of a sudden, we heard a big bang,” Sudduth said.
The mountain lion ran into his wife Kathy, 87, before it went into the bathroom.
“I was very cognizant of what was going on but I knew what to do,” Sudduth said, noting the couple locked themselves in a room and called 911.
“911 had a hard time understanding what I was talking about because I probably was jabbering a lot,” Sudduth said.
The population of mountain lions has been increasing in California and encounters with humans are becoming more frequent as more of the state is developed.
According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, mountain lions typically hunt deer and other animals but rarely attack humans.
“Mountain lions that threaten people are immediately killed. Those that prey on pets or livestock can be killed by a property owner after the required permit is secured. Moving problem mountain lions is not an option. It causes deadly territorial conflicts with other mountain lions already there. Or the relocated mountain lion returns,” the department stated.
People living in areas where mountain lions are known to frequent are advised to educate themselves and discuss strategies with their neighbors, not feed deer or other wildlife, not plant plants that deer like, trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions, not leave small children or pets unattended outside, and install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
People should also provide sturdy, covered shelters for livestock, not let pets outside around dawn and dusk, or when it’s dark out, and not leave pet food out.
If people encounter mountain lions, they shouldn’t run. Stay calm, make noise, and try to make yourself look bigger than you are. Carry bear spray if possible and deploy it if possible.
If the mountain lion attacks, fight back. Potential victims have used rocks, sticks, and garden tools to fight back and have survived.