Four mountain lion sightings believed to be of the same animal have been reported throughout San Francisco in the past week, authorities said Tuesday.
The sightings began in Sea Cliff and the western Presidio on June 30, according to a joint statement from the Presidio Trust, Animal Care and Control and the National Park Service. Another sighting was reported in the 1000 block of Gough Street on July 1, and the most recent sighting occurred near Lake Merced on July 3.
One of the sightings was captured by a neighborhood security camera, which authorities said clearly depicts an adult mountain lion. The other three sightings were reported by members of the public and not independently confirmed.
The sightings mark the first time a mountain lion has been spotted in San Francisco in recent years, though mountain lions are often seen in undeveloped areas of Marin and San Mateo counties. Officials believe the animal spotted in The City is moving south.
Mountain lions typically are wary of humans. According to animal experts, those who encounter a mountain lion should maintain eye contact, but should not approach the animal, make noise or run. Witnesses should appear as big and threatening as possible, and give the mountain lion room to run away.
Residents are advised to be especially mindful at dawn and dusk, and to keep pets on a leash at all times.
Mountain lion sightings should be reported immediately by calling San Francisco Animal Care and Control Emergency Dispatch at (415) 554-9400 or 311, or the Presidio Wildlife Hotline at (415) 561- 4148, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.