Janitor corrals curious cougar in empty California classroom

A young mountain lion curls beside canvas bags.
A young mountain lion entered a classroom at Pescadero High School in San Mateo County.
(San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)
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A high school in San Mateo County was evacuated on Wednesday after a mountain lion was found inside a classroom.

It was the morning before the second-to-last day of school at Pescadero High School when a janitor entered an English classroom and saw a mountain lion beneath a desk. Local authorities received a call at 8:23 a.m. and dispatched several deputies to set up a perimeter around the school, said Det. Javier Acosta of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

No students or teachers were on campus at the time, Acosta said.

“The mountain lion casually walked through campus and decided to go into an English classroom,” he said. “The custodian acted quickly and managed to shut the door behind it.”


Acosta said the animal, estimated to be about 40 pounds, appeared “lost and scared.”

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife tranquilized the cat and sent it to the Oakland Zoo for examination.

The underweight male was estimated to be 4 to 6 months old and had a fractured tooth that will need to be extracted before the cat can be released back into the wild, KTVU-TV reported.