Mountain lion captured below the Monrovia house

The crawl spaces are often full of strange bugs. Still, the sight of a mountain lion climbing under Silvia Escobar’s home in Monrovia surprised her.

The cougar had been hanging around the neighborhood for the past week. Once he was cornered on Thursday, California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials reassured and pulled the big cat out from under Escobar’s residence.

“We released a mountain lion this morning,” Tim Daly, a Fish and Wildlife information officer, said Thursday morning. “The goal is to check his health and then release him as long as he is healthy enough to be back in the wild.”

The male cougar has “fairly significant” neck injuries and is going to a vet for examination, Daly said.

“They said he probably had a head injury, and that’s probably why he fell,” Escobar said, referring to the animal’s walk through the city. Daly suggested that the unlabeled mountain lion may have come from the nearby Angeles National Forest.

Escobar said he first learned that there was a large cat roaming the area Tuesday night after returning from a trip to Idaho. Her brother showed her a photo of the mountain lion in his yard, which is attached to hers, and warned her to be careful.

She said she called the police after her husband saw the mountain lion sneak underneath their home on Wednesday night. Officials in Monrovia were not equipped to reassure the animal, so she closed her doors and double-checked them, Escobar said, noting that she couldn’t sleep after hearing a growl under her house in the early morning.

Fish and Wildlife officers arrived early Thursday, ready for the big cat. From his bathroom window, Escobar saw the calm animal lying on the floor. He was later transferred to a cage for transport, he said.

“I almost wanted to touch him, but I was afraid he might wake up,” she said with a smile.

Authorities think the animal entered the tracking space through an opening along the outside of the home, he said.

“I hope they don’t come back. I’m sure tonight we’re going to cover those holes. We don’t want any more surprises, ”said Escobar.

“Attacks by mountain lions on humans are very rare, but it has happened. That is why we respond the way we do when a mountain lion starts to look as comfortable as the one that started showing up in Monrovia, “said Daly.

Wildlife officials noted that more than half of the state is habitat for mountain lions. Therefore, residents are cautioned to keep an eye on young children and pets and to “limit attractions” that could encourage big cats to stay.