Alert Custodian Discovers, Safely Confines Cougar in Empty Classroom
From our Faces of the Frontline Series to feel-good stories about school custodians receiving cars as a gift from students over the holidays, we're always searching for the next opportunity to hail the unsung frontline heroes that clean facilities and keep them safe. For one custodian in San Mateo County in Northern California, however, "keeping the facility safe" brought on a whole new definition, as reported by the Associated Press.
It's common practice for daytime custodians to prep facilities before regular school or business hours, making sure tasks are properly completed the night before and each room is good for occupants. On a Wednesday morning last month, however, an unnamed custodian at Pescadero High spotted nothing other than a baby mountain lion in one of the empty classrooms. Acting quickly, the custodian quickly exited the room and shut the door behind him, safely quartering the cougar. Luckily, no other students were on the staff or the premises.
Immediately contacting authorities upon the discovery, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Detective Jaiver Acosta, noted that the mountain lion, which was estimated to be about 40 pounds was casually strolling through the school's campus and happened across the classroom. The cougar appeared lost and scared, and at the age of roughly 4-6 months, had a fractured tooth that need to be extracted.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived on the scene and safely tranquilized the cat, and once the tooth extraction is complete, the mountain lion is expected to be safely released back into the wild. A photo of the cat is available here.