IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Mountain lion wanders into classroom at California high school, officials say

Custodial staffers were preparing to open Pescadero High School when they found the baby lion hiding under a desk in a classroom. The cub, 6 to 8 months old, was removed safely.

A mountain lion cub wandered into a California high school Wednesday and was being trapped in a classroom by a custodian before being safely removed hours later, has been, officials said.

The mountain lion that made its way into Pescadero High School in San Mateo County is 6 to 8 months old and likely an orphan, according to the Oakland Zoo, which is now caring for the animal.

The cub was discovered just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday as the custodial staff was preparing to open the school, a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

It was removed Wednesday afternoon and had to be tranquilized for capture and transport, the zoo said.

"No students or staff were ever in danger as the school was not in session yet," the spokesperson said.

It’s not clear how the mountain lion entered the school in Pescadero, a small community near the coast around 30 miles west of San Jose.

A custodian shut the door of the English classroom, keeping the cub inside as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was called.

They tried to “let it out on its own,” but the mountain lion did not leave because was likely “lost and scared,” the sheriff’s spokesperson said.

Students and staff were sent home for the day as a precaution, the sheriff’s office said.

The mountain lion will be sent to a zoo, the Oakland Zoo said. It said the animal is too young to survive alone — mountain lions spend their first two years learning from their mothers — and no other mountain lions have been seen in the area.

The animal, a male, is underweight but otherwise healthy, the zoo said. He was found under a teacher’s desk and was calm, it said.