Residents of a Southern California town were told to stay indoors Monday morning as a mountain lion was spotted roaming through backyards, NBC Los Angeles reported. The mountain lion was eventually tranquilized and captured by California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials, who indicated they would safely transport it back to the wild.
The mountain lion was spotted in the city of Azusa, and could be seen in the early hours leaping over fences and searching backyards for food. At one point, it even climbed onto the roof of a shed. However, the situation was resolved without incident.
ABC-7 posted more footage of the cat sighting. In the 20-second clip, the mountain lion rummages around a yard but does not encounter any humans or other animals.
Mountain lions, which are commonly known as cougars and panthers, can be found all over the Americas, but especially in California. Though they typically keep to themselves, they occasionally wander into urban or residential areas if it seems like they will find food there. They are especially fond of deer.
They can occasionally be seen crossing freeways in California, as demonstrated in this NBC LA photo series. One ambitious mountain lion even climbed to the top of a telephone pole in 2015.
The feline predators are certainly capable of harming or even killing humans, but it does not happen particularly often. There have only been six human fatalities from mountain lion attacks since 1890 in California, with 10 other non-fatal attacks. They are far more dangerous to livestock and pets than people.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended steering clear of them whenever possible, especially to people who live in less densely populated areas where mountain lions roam. According to the state agency, it is inadvisable to leave pets or small children outside without supervision, especially at night.
Mountain lions are not limited to the west coast, nor are they afraid of cold weather. In February, a cougar was spotted looking through a window on someone’s front porch in Brookfield, Wisconsin with snow on the ground outside.