Watch CBS News

Mountain Lion spotted wandering around Rohnert Park neighborhood

PIX Now 11:29

ROHNERT PARK -- Startled residents called Rohnert Park police early Thursday reporting a mountain lion wandering through their neighborhood near Country Club Drive.

In a news release, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officers started receiving calls about sightings in the area of Copeland Creek Trail between Country Club Drive and Snyder Lane at 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officers were dispatched to the neighborhood, but did not see the mountain lion. They urged residents in the area to watch for small pets and children, to not feed deer and to never approach a mountain lion.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers additional tips. People are urged not to hike, bike or jog alone, particularly around dawn, dusk or at night.

If one encounters a mountain lion, CDFW officials urge people to face the mountain lion, make noise and try to look bigger. People are urged not to run and not turn one's back on the animal and not to crouch down or bend over.

Over the last year, mountain lion sightings have been on the rise across the Bay Area.

A mountain lion cub wandered into an empty classroom at Pescadero High School along the Peninsula in June. After several hours, CDFW personnel were able to safely remove the cub from the classroom.

"We used a dart tranquilizer rifle to put a drug mix into the animal through the dart. It went down smoothly. No problems," said John Krause, Sr. Wildlife Biologist for the Bay Delta Region. "It is safely being transported to Oakland Zoo, where we'll work with our partners to get the animal assessed and find out its condition before we release it." 

Mountain lions have also been caught lurking in the shadows on security cameras in Millbrae. A handful of residents in the Oakland hills and Piedmont say they've seen mutilated deer carcasses in their neighborhoods. One wildcat was even caught in a tree in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood and transported to the Oakland Zoo while another broke into a San Bruno home filled with game trophies.

More than half of the state is mountain lion territory, and it's not too unusual to see them popping up in unexpected places, according to CDFW officials.

The species typically migrates during the dry season in search of ample food and water supplies, but they might be traveling further than usual as drought conditions are on the rise and deer populations are declining, department spokesperson Ken Paglia said.

"Be aware that we do share the state with other wildlife, like mountain lions or bears, they are around," Paglia said. "Even though they potentially can be dangerous, they're usually in the city because they're looking for food resources and they're not there to hurt us."

Despite the recent sightings being attacked by a mountain lion is a rare occurrence.

"We want to make sure the public is safe, but we also want the animal to be able to live out his life in its own habitat. That's probably the best solution," Paglia said.

Installing motion center lights around the property, keeping pets indoors at night and adequately storing feed supplies are some of the ways residents can avoid encounters with mountain lions. More tips and tricks from the Mountain Lion Foundation can be found at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.