Reported mountain lion sightings way up


Reported mountain lion sightings in San Mateo County seem on track to exceed 30 this year, up from six in 2008 and 14 in 2009.

In response to an Almanac request, the county Sheriff's Office listed eight sighting reports in 2010, and the first quarter is not yet over. The list did not include sightings on March 18 and 21 in Emerald Hills in unincorporated Woodside.

The list also did not note two Woodside sightings reported to The Almanac: Tuesday, March 2, on Roan Place at 7:45 a.m.; and Wednesday, March 3, on Patrol Road at 9:45 p.m.

The Santa Cruz Range "has always been known to have a large number of lions," said Tim Dunbar, the executive director of the Sacramento-based Mountain Lion Foundation.

As to the increased number of sightings, Mr. Dunbar noted that it's migration time, and that bobcats and coyotes are also mistaken for lions.

Lions are "very much self-limiting" in population control, he said. Resident males will not only expel other males but are so territorial that, other than in breeding season, they have killed females and even their own offspring, he said.

Asked to comment on a lion that cleared a 5-foot-high fence to attack a pygmy goat in a Portola Valley backyard, Mr. Dunbar had a ready answer. A mountain lion has a vertical leap of 12 feet to 15 feet, he said. "These guys are strong," he added. "Their leap is phenomenal."

Increase in sightings no cause for alarm, biologist says.

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Like this comment
Posted by Frostie Acres
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Good - hope all you anti-gunners go hiking with your family.

Like this comment
Posted by bob
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

If you don't mountian lions move to Lindenwood they have walls and it sounds like they have plenty of ammo.

Like this comment
Posted by Kangeroo
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

If I lived in Lindenwood I would be more concerned about the predators living across #101 than mountain lions !!! Lock and load. Frostie.

Like this comment
Posted by True Nimrod
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

It will be tragic when one of these predators will take a human life. The 'self-limiting' statement is only self serving. These big cats are more dangerous than bears. One they have finished off the coastal deer population, they're coming to town.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

True Nimrod says we should worry "once they have finished off the coastal deer population."

I think we humans can rest easy about our prey status, at least for the near, foreseeable, long-term and distant futures. After that, all bets are off.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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