Tuesday evening January 4, a Mountain Lion was seen in the hills above Highway 280. A San Mateo County Alert was issued stating that the big cat was spotted in the area of Albion Avenue and Olive Hill Lane.
A county sheriff’s spokesman, Lt. Ray Lunny, recently stated that Mountain Lion sightings have doubled in the last year, 35 in 2010 as compared with 14 in 2009. The majority of sightings have been reported in our COWmunity as well as Portola Valley, La Honda and Emerald Hills.
In February, two brothers hiking in Pescadero Creek County Park fought off two Mountain Lions by shouting and swinging sticks. This report was confirmed by game wardens who considered the cats to be a threat the public safety. In March, there were three reports of sightings in the Teague Hill Open Space Preserve near Woodside.
COW’s are advised not to approach the big cats and avoid hiking or jogging at dawn, dusk and night. This is when the animals are most active. If you do encounter a Mountain Lion, emergency officials advise you face the animal and never run! Try and look big by waving your arms, make a lot of noise and throw rocks. Pick up small children and teach these techniques to your older children.
Your pets may also be at risk. Mountain Lions have been known to come into populated areas looking for food. House cats and smaller dogs can be easy prey for the big cats. It is a good idea to keep them indoors at dawn, dusk and night. You should bring pet food inside at night to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential Mountain lion prey.
For more tips on how to discourage Mountain lions from approaching homes, families, pets and livestock, go here.
We love having wildlife for neighbors but we must take necessary precautions to keep our pastures safe.