The Bay Area Has A Mountain Lion Problem

California Department of Fish and Wildlife



My sister lives in San Mateo, not too far but really close to a lot of wilderness areas, a few years back I was hanging out at her house with my dog and her dog and watching TV when I heard some pretty loud commotion in the backyard, along with the whining barks of a dog next door. Everyone else was out at the time and when they came back I was convinced a mountain lion had scampered through their yard and into the neighbor’s yard. Of course, I was probably wrong, but years later it doesn’t so far-fetched anymore.

As the San Jose Mercury News reports, several Bay Area communities – and admittedly in areas where it seems like mountain lion sightings seem more feasible – are enduring a big cat issue. 

Here’s reporter Patrick May with a few communities on cougar watch:

On the Prowl in Pescadero

Residents in and around this sleepy coastal burg have been on edge in recent days as county officials are warning the public there may be an aggressive mountain lion in the area. Over the weekend, a resident in the 5000 block of Pescadero Creek Road let their small pet outside the home around 9 p.m. Saturday. A short time later, the resident reportedly heard the pet yelp and it has not been seen since.

County officials said that while they can’t positively confirm that it was a lion that snatched that particular pet there have been reports recently of an aggressive lion in the same area that has killed livestock. Officials cautioned residents to keep a sharp eye on their pets and any livestock in their care, especially late at night and early in the morning. …

Fear Near Sonoma’s “Little Slice of Heaven” 

In the getting-too-close-for-comfort department, the large cats have been reported in the vicinity of the historic Penngrove Elementary School where the bench out front bears this carved message: “A Little Slice of Heaven.”

Residents in this bucolic hamlet of 2,500 wedged in between Cotati and Petaluma have been calling authorities in the past few days to report what they believe is a mountain lion in their neighborhood. The fact that some sheep deaths have also been reported has fueled fears for some in the rural area.

Officials from Sonoma County Animal Services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were called out but investigators could not confirm whether a mountain lion was, in fact, roaming the local ranches. That did not calm the nerves of locals who reportedly saw the large cats near the grade school and then passed on reports over the social-media site Nextdoor. …

Possible Pumas Among the Eichlers

A mountain lion was spotted the other day in Eichler Highlands in San Mateo County, one of the most architecturally historic pockets of the entire Bay Area. Officials with the county said that the cat was seen at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of Randall Road. Officials said the animal was not aggressive and that it ran away when it saw people nearby.

A subsequent search of the area turned up no sign of the cat. The Highlands subdivision constitutes the largest contiguous Eichler development anywhere, with more than 700 of the renowned homes built over an 11-year period from 1955 to 1965. If the mountain lion is still around, it’s been prowling through a neighborhood with chock full of classic examples of the work of all the main  Eichler architects: Anshen & Allen, Jones & Emmons, and Claude Oakland.

Stay safe in mountain lion country, everyone.