A female mountain lion was captured in a rare photo showing the cougar perched atop a wooden pole in the Lucerne Valley desert on Tuesday.
The large cat had reportedly been scared by a bus full of children, who were yelling excitedly after coming back home from school and scrambled up the pole. The story was originally reported by the Daily Press of Victorville and picked up by the Associated Press.
Mountain lions are not uncommon in the area, although they are rarely seen. And they are not usually a danger to human beings unless they feel threatened.
The large cougar reportedly stayed atop the pole all of Tuesday afternoon and was gone by Wednesday morning. Jose Ruiz, who lives across the street, said two California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers attempted to shoo onlookers away as they waited for the wild animal to climb back down and return to its home.
Even the birds reportedly made a ruckus and harassed the animal. “It was funny,” Ruiz told the AP. “It was like the one crow was saying, ‘Hey, you’re not a crow.'”
The mountain lion is believed to live in the Magic Jungle Wildlife Preserve in Lucerne Valley. Kele Younger, who works there, told the Daily Press that residents should be cautious as the cougar may return to the area again. “Once mountain lions come into the area and overcome the fear that usually keeps them away, they may attempt to come back.”
For those reasons, residents are urged to remove trash and any pet food left in yards as it could attract the mountain lions.
Residents who encounter mountain lions in the city are urged to call Hesperia Animal Control at 760-947-1707.