Photo: California Mountain Lion Climbs 35-foot Power Pole


California wildlife officials had a rough time getting a cougar to leave its perch atop a power pole earlier this week. The mountain lion was spotted, ironically, near Cougar Buttes in Lucerne Valley on Tuesday, giving local residents a small scare.

The large cat apparently decided to scale a 35-foot-tall power pole and was not inclined to leave, even after officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) showed up. Officials believe that the cougar was startled by students coming home from school and scrambled up the pole for safety—where it came dangerously near high voltage wires.

Since the animal was so high up, officers decided not to tranquilize it and let the cougar come down when it was ready.

“We’re happy we didn’t have to plan that out,” CDFW spokesperson Andrew Hughan told ABC News. “Trying to get a mountain lion off a utility pole would have been a really interesting challenge. If we shot it, it would’ve fell and died.”

Hughan added that the situation was pretty rare and he could not remember another incident when a mountain lion climbed a utility pole that high up. At one point the cat found itself being harassed by crows.

“It was funny,” resident Jose Ruiz told the Victor Valley Daily Press. “It was like the one crow was saying, ‘Hey, you’re not a crow’ to the mountain lion.”

The animal eventually left early Wednesday morning and has not been spotted since.

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