News

Woodside report: Mountain lion and three cubs spotted in Wunderlich park

Deputy sheriffs and park rangers are patrolling the woods at Wunderlich county park, located at 4040 Woodside Road in Woodside, after the reported sighting of an adult mountain lion and three cubs at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 9).

While mountain lions tend to avoid confrontations, lion-human encounters are particularly risky when the lion is feeding or in the company of offspring, authorities say.

Deputies advise joggers and hikers to avoid jogging and hiking at dawn, dusk and at night, when lions are most active. Adults should stay close to small children and be ready to pick them up in case of an encounter.

When in the presence of a mountain lion, deputies suggest showing confidence by facing the animal, making noise, taking steps to appear larger -- such as waving the arms -- and throwing things at the lion, including rocks.

Go to keepmewild.org for more information.

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Woodside report: Mountain lion and three cubs spotted in Wunderlich park

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 9, 2014, 11:05 am

Deputy sheriffs and park rangers are patrolling the woods at Wunderlich county park, located at 4040 Woodside Road in Woodside, after the reported sighting of an adult mountain lion and three cubs at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 9).

While mountain lions tend to avoid confrontations, lion-human encounters are particularly risky when the lion is feeding or in the company of offspring, authorities say.

Deputies advise joggers and hikers to avoid jogging and hiking at dawn, dusk and at night, when lions are most active. Adults should stay close to small children and be ready to pick them up in case of an encounter.

When in the presence of a mountain lion, deputies suggest showing confidence by facing the animal, making noise, taking steps to appear larger -- such as waving the arms -- and throwing things at the lion, including rocks.

Go to keepmewild.org for more information.

Comments

WP
Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm
WP, Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I hope that the deputies and rangers leave the lioness and her cubs alone! Wunderlich is a big park, there's room for mountain lions.


parent
another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm
parent, another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Yes, the rangers should leave the wild animals alone. Park visitors need to take their own precautions. Don't let children and pets (when allowed) run ahead of your group when you are visiting known mountain lion territory.


Norman
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm
Norman, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

It's obvious that the mountain lion is more important than humans. So, let us make a law that keeps humans out of the mountain lion range, period, and let these lions live in peace. Humans: Go shopping instead of enjoying nature, exercise in safe gyms.


Frank
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm
Frank, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

There's room for both humans and animals. Humans should expect to use caution when in the park and should show respect for the animals. If the mountain lion is caught or killed, what will happen to the cubs?

To discourage the animals from going near trails, would it be possible to put water, and maybe some food, at locations well away from trails? The animals are coming closer to people because of their need for water.


Menlo Voter
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm
Menlo Voter, Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Boulder Colorado found out the hard way that if they did not include pain in contacts with humans, mountain lions became accustomed and attacks increased. Pumas need to associate pain or discomfort with humans or the problem becomes worse. Pain doesn't mean death as that is actually counter productive. Discomfort or pain means loud noises or other things that the cats don't like.

Like it or not, if we're going to share territory with mountain lions they need to not want to be any where near us or attacks will happen. That doesn't mean we can't share the same space. It means they need to respect us as being on an equal or higher plane on the food chain.


Lion King
Portola Valley: other
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm
Lion King, Portola Valley: other
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm

See the story of the mountain lion attack in Cupertino last Sunday: Web Link

Dangerous kitties. Life-threatening kitties.


Alan
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm
Alan, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I used to run through that park once per week - back when I was in good enough shape to take on the hills. On occasion, I saw bobcats - never any mountain lions. Bobcats can be exciting to see ... if I saw a mountain lion, I'd be excited in a more uneasy way.


Palo Alto resident
another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm
Palo Alto resident, another community
on Sep 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I was in Foothill Park at the weekend and on the meadow I was watching 8 deer grazing on the green grass. Another visitor commented that the meadow should not be watered and allowed to go brown in the drought. As we discussed it, we felt that the deer being happy to stay in the park was a good thing. The deer, being the primary food source for mountain lions, are staying in the wild and not coming down into the residential areas of Palo Alto, Woodside, Menlo Park. By keeping the food source in the hills, the mountain lions are likely to stay out of the residential neighborhoods also.

Seeing the mountain lions in a park means that they are looking for easy prey. During this time of drought, it is imperative that the wild animals should be able to find food and water in their own habitat rather than coming down into ours.


peninsula resident
Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:29 am
peninsula resident, Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

> Pumas need to associate pain or discomfort with humans or the problem becomes worse. Pain doesn't mean death.

I 100% agree with Menlo Voter. The cats need to have a fear and negative association with humans, or we're just inviting disaster.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:36 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:36 am

The book Beast in the Garden by David Baron is the definitive piece on this issue:
"From Publishers Weekly
In 1991, in Idaho Springs, Colo., a small town not far from Boulder, a young jogger was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion. Although people were horrified, biologist Michael Sanders and naturalist Jim Halfpenny were not surprised. Since 1988 they had been studying the mountain lions that were invading backyards in the Boulder area in increasing numbers and had concluded that, contrary to the accepted wisdom that these lions don't attack people, the big cats were indeed stalking humans in search of a good meal. In an engrossing book that reads like a true crime thriller, Baron, a science and environmental writer, follows the advance of mountain lions around Boulder as if they were serial killers, building tension as he leads up to the killing. There were plenty of warnings. Numerous homeowners saw lions in their yards, dogs were maimed or eaten and a girl was attacked but survived. Sanders and Halfpenny tried to convince the wildlife-loving Boulderites that a tragedy was about to occur, but people believed they could coexist peacefully with the lions, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife was also determined to leave the animals alone. Even after Scott Lancaster, the Idaho Springs jogger, was killed, area residents refused to endorse killing the big cats that moved into their neighborhoods. Baron is not in favor of killing unwanted lions, but in this timely book he warns that as people continue to displace wild animals from their habitats, they have to change the way they interact with them and be more realistic about romantic notions of wilderness. "


fear mongers
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm
fear mongers, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Most of the posters here are a bunch of fear-mongers.

Wrap yourself in Saranwrap and sandwich yourself between 2 mattresses. You will be safe and secure in your sterile and completely uninteresting existence.

I'll take preserving a mountain lion and the natural beauty in our area over most of you any day -- in a heartbeat. If you don't know enough to protect yourself and take appropriate precautions, you shouldn't be "out there". That includes your kids and the non-human animals in your life who are your responsibility -- I happen to have both types of kids myself and would never ask anyone to sterilize nature to make my job easier.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Fear monger - You seem to have difficulty reading what has been posted:

"Baron is not in favor of killing unwanted lions, but in this timely book he warns that as people continue to displace wild animals from their habitats, they have to change the way they interact with them and be more realistic about romantic notions of wilderness. "

Baron is someone who has carefully studied the problem and he has provided solutions which will protect you, your kids AND the mountain lions.


peninsula resident
Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm
peninsula resident, Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

fear mongerer said the following:
> I'll take preserving a mountain lion and the natural beauty in our area over most of you any day -- in a heartbeat.

Nobody suggested not "preserving" mountain lions or the natural beauty of the area. That said, you are quite the humanitarian, aren't you! Antisocial much?

Ironically, your laissez faire, head-in-sand, antisocial approach to the unnatural interaction between mountain lions and humans is even more dangerous to the future of mountain lions than the approach suggested by people in this thread.

In a nutshell, you are inadvertently risking the killing of the animals you're trying to save. Which makes you far from brilliant, in my opinion.

> If you don't know enough to protect yourself and take appropriate precautions

A mountain lion has seen/heard/smelled you long before you see it. I assure you, if a mountain lion has no fear of humans and decides to attack, the point at which you "know...to protect yourself" is when its teeth are already in your flesh. That's not fear mongering, that's fact.

> you shouldn't be "out there".

I'll excuse your ignorance. Some of these sightings are in urban, flatland areas. In one case, even in a parking garage WEST OF EL CAMINO in Mountain View. I know that area and that mountain lion was closer to the bay than the mountains!

Using your logic, people shouldn't even be "out" on their apartment balconies in the middle of an urban environment.

> would never ask anyone to sterilize nature

Your reading comprehension appears to need improvement. Nobody posted anything suggesting sterilizing nature. In fact, instilling a fear of humans is what would naturally happen if we were to have a natural environmental interaction with mountain lions, but this doesn't happen due to the misguided advice of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-environmental nut jobs.

I'm against killing mountain lions, unless it shows signs of imminent attack, or there are children present and killing is the only recourse. But not even attempting to instill natural fear in these animals is completely irresponsible.

And by not instilling fear, you misguided people are inadvertently contributing to the death of future mountain lions.


peninsula resident
Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm
peninsula resident, Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

> WEST OF EL CAMINO

Edit: EAST of El Camino


Old timer
Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm
Old timer, Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I have lived in this area all of my life, and I have been increasingly concerned about the dramatic increase in the number of deer and mountain lions. Woodside is now a residential community (composed of 1-3 acre parcels or less), and it is very unrealistic to believe that we can live alongside the mountain lions. Which part of the yard would be suitable for the lions?

Our current policy of "living with the mountain lions" or being "a buffer zone where wild animals can wander" is incompatible with the California State's Keep Me Wild policy which advises the public to make their lands off limits for wild animals. If wild animals become accustomed to humans and no longer fear them, they will begin to see us as a food source and attack us. There is no way to protect kids in a mountain lion habitat unless you are standing right next to them. The boy who was attacked last week in the Santa Cruz mountains was 10 feet from the adults. This happened around noon. If something disastrous happens to a child in Woodside, we are at fault for not being more realistic about the dangers. Mountain lions have been spotted blocks from our school.

Thirty years ago, there were fewer wild animals, larger land parcels, and fewer children. Times have changed in Woodside and we need to address the problem of the deer and their dangerous predators.


Gertrude
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Gertrude, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Old timer, I don't think the mountain lion population is increasing, probably the opposite. Residential development in the hills has increased and because of this the mountain lion's territory has been infringed upon; they don't have as much open space as they used to have. Also, because of the drought, mountain lions are looking for water and food and will risk interaction with humans to survive.

I moved to Palo Alto in the 70's and used to hike frequently in Foothills Park. My favorite trail was the Los Trancos trail, which is almost 8 miles. Hiking the trail was like being out in the wilderness because it felt so far from civilization with no houses in sight. After several years of not hiking in Foothills park, I recently revisited Los Trancos trail and was very disappointed to see that large houses had sprung up near the trail. No wonder people are seeing more mountain lions than ever.

This area used to be teaming with bears, mountain lions, etc. Humans have killed off so much of the wildlife. Let's stop developing the hills and leave something for the existing wildlife before it's too late.


Old timer
Woodside: other
on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm
Old timer, Woodside: other
on Sep 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Gertrude,

A mountain lion has recently been found in down town Mountain View hiding behind a wall. I believe this occurred in a in a parking garage. They are no longer in parks or preserves. Several have been spotted in driveways near homes in residential areas. This did not occur in the 50s, 60s, or 70s. As they become accustomed to humans, they will hunt us. Thankfully, no kids have been hurt, but this recent attack in Cupertino is a sign that things are changing. We have to address the change.

If lions attack and track humans, they are killed. Our present policies are not preventing future attacks. Killing individual lions will not stop the problem. The lions need to be afraid of humans.

Making them afraid of us will prevent further mountain lion deaths and human deaths. Seeing animals in the wild is a thrill but dodging them in down town Mountain View is something else.


cassie
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm
cassie, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm

For those who like to enjoy the surrounding trails, you might consider carrying a small air horn in your fanny pack to scare off a cat if you saw one. It blasts 120 decibels and would probably easier to deploy than any of the deterrent sprays although, I always carry pepper spray as well. I just don't know how accurate I would be with pepper spray if one got me by the back of the neck.


Old Timer II
Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm
Old Timer II , Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

60 years in the valley. Never really been a problem until now. The great cartoon strip The Far Side comes to mind.Too many stupid people not enough smart Lions. Or maybe we should penalize the lions 15 yards for Encroachment. Give me a break !!!


Old timer
Woodside: other
on Sep 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm
Old timer, Woodside: other
on Sep 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm

There were zero mountain lion attacks in California between 1909 and 1985. No wonder I grew up not being concerned about mountain lions as I hiked through the hills alone.

The increase in sightings and attacks means something has changed and I believe we need to deal with it.


fwiw
Woodside: other
on Sep 13, 2014 at 5:00 am
fwiw, Woodside: other
on Sep 13, 2014 at 5:00 am

> There were zero mountain lion attacks in California between 1909 and 1985

From 1908 through 1963 California had a mountain lion bounty program during which 12,461 mountain lions were killed and a premium collected.

When the bounty program was discontinued in 1963 they became a non-protected mammal.

During the 70's and 80's they were variously reclassified as game mammals for sport hunting.

In 1990 Prop 117 passed which instituted a permanent moratorium on mountain lion sport hunting.


Old timer
Woodside: other
on Sep 13, 2014 at 8:34 am
Old timer, Woodside: other
on Sep 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

Yes, the mountain lions are no longer hunted so this means we need to deal with the impact of that change. Are there more lions? Do they fear us less? To pretend that things are the same as they have always been is not possible anymore.

We cannot live side by side with such a large predator. The lion that attacked the boy recently has been killed. Wouldn't it be better if the lion had feared humans so much that it would run from humans in the first place?


fear_mongers
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm
fear_mongers, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

[Post remove. Please comment on the topic without attacks on other posters.]


Old timer
Woodside: other
on Sep 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm
Old timer, Woodside: other
on Sep 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Mountain lion attacks are unfortunately a new reality for us and I believe in addressing the problem before it becomes unmanageable. Their are experts who have solutions. Lets get help from them.


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