A Sonora-area family had their front door open to enjoy the cool weather Sunday evening when an uninvited guest wandered in, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Andrea Benson said a mountain lion entered the home in the 16000 block of Oakhaven Lane at about 9:30 p.m.
When the family and mountain lion spotted each other, both ran. The family ran downstairs and the mountain lion ran into a bathroom, Benson said.
“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,” the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on Facebook.
The family called 911 and the Sheriff’s Office and California Department Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.
The deputies and warden set up a ladder, and with the homeowner’s permission broke the window to the second story bathroom, Benson said. They pounded on the wall and shone a flashlight at the open window to coax the mountain lion out.
Video on the sheriff’s office Facebook post shows it leaping out of the window.
Though caught in the act, the mountain lion will not face charges.
“He did get a stern warning about the break-in before being released,” the post reads.
Fish and Wildlife does not consider mountain lion sightings near human habitation a public safety concern as long as the lion is not exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people, according to the post. Mountain lions tend to be shy and extremely stealthy.
The Sheriff’s Office said anyone who encounters a mountain lion should make noise, act defiant and not afraid, maintain eye contact, never run away, slowly create distance and fight back if you’re attacked.