A mountain lion ran into a school while on the "search for new territory", leaving staff in shock.

A school janitor Pescadero High School in California, USA, was left stunned when a young mountain lion sought refuge in one of the school's empty classrooms.

The staff member was beginning their morning rounds on Wednesday (June 1) when they discovered the curious cub hiding under a teacher's desk.

No pupils or teachers were on the grounds at the time, with deputies called to the school at at 8.23am to a report of a puma on campus, said detective Javier Acosta of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Acosta said deputies confirmed the animal was a mountain lion and contacted the California Department of Fish and Game.

He said: "The mountain lion casually walked through campus and decided to go into an English classroom."

The animal was captured by mid-afternoon and taken to Oakland Zoo for a health assessment where it was found to have suffered a fractured tooth, said Ken Paglia, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Game.

Paglia said the mountain lion was four to six months old and underweight at roughly 40lbs (18kgs).

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He said: “Even though we can’t be sure exactly what happened, a fair guess would be that this is a young, dispersing male mountain lion that was kicked out by its mom and was in search of new territory.

“These pumas, their habitats are splintered by human development, so often they have to find their way from one patch of habitat to another patch of habitat, and then they end up having to go through some sort of urban or urban edge type of location."

The zoo said it would stay there for the foreseeable as it is too young to survive alone in the wild.

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