This Woman Was Sleeping in Bed When a Mountain Lion Jumped on Her

A mountain lion known as P-35 eating kill in the Santa Susana Mountains in southern California. This is likely not the same mountain lion that crashed through a woman’s apartment and landed on top of her while she slept. REUTERS HANDOUT

A California woman had a rude awakening on July 4: A mountain lion crashed through her apartment window and landed on top of her while she slept.

"At first, I think she said she thought she was dreaming. It didn't seem real," apartment manager Francis Muniz told local Fox affiliate KTXL. (The woman was apparently too startled to talk to the media.)

Footage obtained by security cameras and shared with UPI show that the puma, a young adult, had earlier been spooked while narrowly avoiding a truck and then ran into the door of a bowling alley off Main Street in Colusa, California. Later that night, it barged into the woman's apartment, perhaps thinking it was the entrance of a cave, or aggravated by its reflection.

Luckily the woman wasn't injured, according to Fox News, and she opened the door to her apartment, letting the bleeding and disoriented animal escape.

John Troughton, a member of the Colusa County Fish and Game Commission, said the incident follows a series of puma sightings locally. "I've been concerned about it for a while considering how many we've seen in the Butte Creek area," Troughton told the Colusa County Sun-Herald. "I figured they'd eventually get to town—one did."

Mountain lions, also known as pumas, panthers, cougars and catamounts, are normally afraid of people. In fact, a study published June 21 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B showed that mountain lions immediately flee large deer prey that they've killed upon hearing human voices. The research characterizes humans as "super predators" that spook even animals like pumas, which normally wouldn't react so fearfully. In this case, both the human and the mountain lion were terrified.

As mountain lion populations have risen, interactions between humans and the pumas also have gone up. Unlike some cats like jaguars, which are even more wary of people, mountain lions can tolerate living near humans and are quite adaptable. Happily, mountain lion attacks on humans are very rare.