A mountain lion showed its climbing prowess by scaling a 35-foot utility pole in the California desert.

The Daily Press of Victorville reported Wednesday that the big cat apparently got spooked by a school bus and ran up the wooden power pole in rural Lucerne Valley.

The cougar stayed atop the pole all afternoon Tuesday but was gone by Wednesday morning.

A staffer for the newspaper snapped a picture of the cat on its rare public perch.

The elusive creatures live throughout Southern California but are rarely seen.

Jose Ruiz, who lives across the street from the pole, says the cougar endured more than stares from gawkers. He says crows flying overhead kept harassing it.