Mountain lion spotted prowling California neighborhood prompts warning
By Stephen Sorace
Published July 10, 2019
Officials in San Mateo, Calif., are reminding residents to be alert after home surveillance video captured a mountain lion prowling the neighborhood on Sunday.
The big cat was spotted bounding along a sidewalk around 4 a.m. on the 400 block of 22nd Avenue, police said in an alert message. Officers searched the area for the visitor but couldn’t locate it.
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Police said the mountain lion didn’t appear to act predatory or aggressive in the video, which was posted in the alert message.
Mountain lions are solitary and “typically avoid people by nature,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). But in rare cases, the animals have attacked people.
San Mateo police issued safety tips in the event a resident comes face to face with a mountain lion:
- Do not feed deer. It is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
- DO NOT APPROACH a mountain lion if seen, especially one that is feeding or with offspring. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation.
- Avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active — dawn, dusk, or at night.
- Keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or about wooded areas.
- Do not run if you encounter a mountain lion. Instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects; pick up small children.
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The CDFW says mountain lions are “immediately killed” if they threaten people. Property owners can get a permit to kill the animals that prey upon their pets or livestock.
Relocating mountain lions “is not an option,” according to the agency. Moving the big cats can cause deadly conflicts over territory with other mountain lions. The animals could also return to their old grounds.