SONORA, Calif. (KOVR/CNN) – A mountain lion is probably the last thing you'd expect to find in your bathroom, but that's exactly what happened to a family in California.
They even got a picture of it.
Getting a jump on the big cat was no easy feat.
Normally when you leave the door open, the cat comes in, just not a cat this big.
“The homeowner and the lion somehow interacted, and then the lion got scared and tried to run away. Not knowing exactly where to go, it ran into a hallway and ended up in a bathroom,” said Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The picture of a young mountain lion in the bathroom has neighbors talking.
“The size of his paws were terrifying. When I looked at it and zoomed in on the paws, it was terrifying,” Samantha Huebner said.
“I’m pretty comfortable saying that once the lion gets stuck inside your house its going to be pretty stressed out,” Foy said.
Out of options, the cat decided to take, well, a cat nap on the bathroom floor, and no one was about to wake it up.
“If you find yourself between the lion and the avenue of escape and that lion, then yes, it can be a very dangerous situation,” Foy said.
The cat was likely looking for meat.
“They are pure carnivores, not like bears. Bears will eat anything. Lions eat meat. They eat meat, and they can be there looking for the pet if there’s a pet in the house,” Foy said.
“Two months ago, we actually had two mountain lions on our property that ate five of our chickens,” Sandra Gregory said.
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies and wildlife officers considered using tranquilizer guns to subdue the mountain lion, but in the end, they used noise.
“They closed the bathroom door, broke the window out, and then banged on the door to scare the lion into jumping out the window, which it did, and then, ultimately it ran off,” Foy said.
He said it’s unusual but not unheard of for a mountain lion to enter a home.
“I’ve been around for 23 years, never used to see this happen, and in the last 4 years or so we’ve had about one a year where a lion actually goes into somebody’s house,” Foy said.
Authorities don’t consider mountain lion sightings near homes a public safety concern unless the animal is acting aggressively.