(CNN) – It’s probably the last thing you’d expect to find in your bathroom – a mountain lion!!
But that’s exactly what happened to a family in California.
They even got a picture of it!
“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,” said Captain Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Captain Patrick Foy says it’s unusual but not unheard of.
Normally, when you leave the door open the cat comes in, just not a cat like this.
“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,” Captain Foy said.
Monday night, this juvenile mountain lion made its way into this home on Oakhaven Lane in Sonora.
The picture has neighbors in Tuolumne County talking.
“The size of his paws were terrifying,” said neighbor Samantha Huebner. “When I looked at it and zoomed in on the paws, it was terrifying.”
“It’s pretty comfortable saying that once the lion gets stuck inside your house, it’s going to be pretty stressed out,” Captain 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,” Captain Foy said.
So why here and why this house?
“They are pure carnivores not like bears. Bears will eat anything, lions eat meat,” Captain Foy said. “They eat meat, and they can be there looking for the pet if there’s a pet in the house.”
“Two months ago we actually had two mountain lions on our property that ate five of our chickens,” said neighbor Sandra Gregory.
Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies and wildlife officers considered tranquilizers guns. In the end, they used old fashioned common sense.
“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,” Captain Foy said.
Fish and Wildlife doesn’t consider mountain lion sightings near homes a public safety concern unless the animal is acting aggressively.