SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – Police in San Mateo are warning residents in the hills about a pair of mountain lions that have made multiple appearances over the last few days.
The department tweeted video of the big cats, which have been spotted in the area of Kingridge Drive, not far from Laurelwood / Sugarloaf Park. The cats have been seen in the area at least three times recently.
Police are urging 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 several months, mountain lion sightings have been on the rise across the Bay Area.
A wayward mountain lion prompted a lockdown at two Rohnert Park middle schools until it was tranquilized and removed from the area. A big cat was spotted several times in a Morgan Hill neighborhood.
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 officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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 https://issuu.com/mountainlionfoundation/docs/cdfw_mlf_conflict_brochure_booklet_final_2020.
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