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Surprise Find in Backyard Tree: This Mountain Lion

Calif. firefighters, wildlife officials converged on the scene to remove the big cat
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2019 7:46 AM CST
This Saturday photo shows a mountain lion in a tree outside a private residence in Hesperia, Calif.   (Rick Fischer/State Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden via AP)

(Newser) – When you've got a cat stuck in a tree, call the fire department. When you've got a really big cat stuck in a tree—well, still call the fire department and they'll see what they can do. California firefighters came through with flying colors when that exact call came in on Saturday in Hesperia, where a mountain lion was hanging out 50 feet high in someone's backyard. CNN reports the homeowner spotted the cougar in a tree while doing gardening.

Per a Facebook post from San Bernardino County Fire, the firefighters who responded to the call were joined by sheriff's staff and California Fish & Wildlife workers, who tranquilized the mountain lion so they could get it down safely, using a rescue harness, and evaluate it. "Once the lion regained consciousness, we ensured he safely returned to his suitable habitat," Rick Fischer, the department's warden, says. Fischer adds that even though mountain lions don't typically go after humans, pets and livestock could've been in harm's way. "Leaving the lion in the tree would not have been safe for the community," he notes. (Read more mountain lion stories.)

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