The cat was perched on a branch 15m (50ft) above ground – and rescuers have since released the mountain lion back into the wild.The big cat was perched on a branch about 15m (50ft) above ground.

State wildlife officials tranquillised the feline before San Bernardino County firefighters lowered the animal to the ground using a rescue harness.

The mountain lion was assessed by experts before being released back into the wild.

Rick Fischer, a warden for the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was not uncommon for big cats to wander outside their habitat in the mountains nearby.

Attacks on humans remain rare – although the animals are known to prey on pets and livestock.

Experts say young mountain lions are known to wander outside their normal habit in an attempt to establish their territory.

Mr Fischer added: “Leaving the lion in the tree would not have been safe for the community.

“Once the lion regained consciousness we ensured he safely returned to his suitable habitat.”

The latest mountain lion incident comes days after a runner who was attacked by one of the animals in Colorado described how he wrestled it to the ground and jammed his foot on to its neck during a life-and-death struggle.


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