With two mountain lion sightings in less than a week in residential areas of San Mateo, police issued a message today addressing the safety concerns of residents.
“We take this concern seriously and we are working closely with our partners at the Department of Fish and Wildlife and our neighboring jurisdictions to ensure quick communication and coordination of public alerts and action in the event a mountain lion presents a threat to our community,” San Mateo police said in a statement.
According to police, the first big cat sighting took place at about 1 a.m. on July 1 near a backyard on Fernwood Street. Police found a deer carcass in the area that they said was likely killed by the mountain lion.
The second sighting was in an unincorporated area San Mateo on Queens Lane at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police said that because of the city's proximity to open space areas populated by wildlife, interactions with mountain lions and other non-domesticated animals are a regularly occurring safety concern.
Given the two recent sightings, police ask residents to follow several safety tips.
To avoid a mountain lion encounter, residents should avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas at dusk, dawn and at night, when mountain lions are most active, and should keep a close watch over children.
Residents should not leave pet food or any other food outside at night that would attract wild animals.
Anyone who encounters a mountain lion is advised not to run, and should instead face the animal, make a noise and try to look bigger by waving, throwing rocks or other objects at the animal.
For more information on mountain lions, people can visit www.keepmewild.org.