Mountain lion removed from tree in California backyard

Firefighters are well known for their cat-rescuing skills. But members of San Bernardino County Fire department faced a bigger challenge than your average trapped tabby when called to a home in California on Saturday.

Arriving at the house in Hesperia, San Bernardino County, they found a large cougar, or mountain lion, sitting about 50 feet (15 meters) in the air in a tree in the backyard.

The homeowner was gardening when they became aware of the cougar, authorities said.

Staff from the California Department of Fish <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>& Wildlife tranquilized the big cat before firefighters approached it using a ladder, the fire department a href=”″ target=”_blank”said in a Facebook post/a./ppIt was then lowered from the tree in a harness, assessed by wildlife experts and released back into the wild./pp”It is common for young mountain lions to wander outside what some would consider normal habitat in an attempt to establish their territory,” said Kevin Brennan, a biologist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife./ppAbout 80 miles from Los Angeles, the town of Hesperia sits in the Mojave Desert and is bordered to the south by the San Bernardino Mountains./ppWhile cougar attacks on humans are rare, the animal presented a danger to residents, warden Rick Fischer said./pp”Leaving the lion in the tree would not have been safe for the community,” Fischer said. “Once the lion regained consciousness we ensured he safely returned to his suitable habitat.”/ppEarlier this month, a runner in Colorado a href=”” target=”_blank”strangled a mountain lion with his bare hands/a after it attacked him./ppFewer than 20 people have been killed in North America by mountain lions in more than 100 years, officials said after that incident./p