@presidiosf

“I think there’s a cougar in my backyard, and not the type that drinks Chardonnay.”

If you see what appears to be a long-tailed kitty on steroids slinking around San Francisco, do not approach it with treats. It might be a mountain lion paying a rare visit to the city, as people have reported seeing such an animal several times in recent days.

Two sightings occurred on June 30 in the western Presidio and the tony neighborhood of Sea Cliff, where a security camera captured the apex predator politely using the sidewalk. Then there was a spotting on July 1 on the 1000 block of Gough Street—which is insane, as that’s smack-dab in downtown—and another on July 3 near Lake Merced.

The Presidio Trust says it’s likely all the reports are for the same creature. “The animal appears to be moving south and has not been seen since July 3,” it writes. “While there have been no Mountain Lion sightings in San Francisco in many years, and none this far north, sightings regularly occur throughout undeveloped areas of Marin and San Mateo.” (It’s common on regional hiking trails to encounter signs saying keep your children close.)

Approximate locations of reports of a mountain lion.

Regarding the downtown report, Deb Campbell at the city’s Animal Care & Control says a resident called in a possible mountain lion behind her home. “The woman said, ‘I think there’s a cougar in my backyard, and not the type that drinks Chardonnay.’ We’ve all had a good chuckle with that.”

The 1000 block of Gough. (Google Maps)

Mountain lions try to avoid people, but just in case the trust is warning folks to keep pets leashed and be “especially mindful between dusk and dawn.” If you bump into it, the trust advises keeping eye contact, making noise, trying to appear big, and if attacked to always fight back (perhaps with rocks or your bag).

It’s thought that a full half of California is lion territory. Though it’s rare for one of them to maul a human in the Bay Area, it has happened. Last September, a big cat stalked and attacked a boy hiking near Cupertino. He recovered, and the lion was found and killed. The last attack before that was in 1909, according to Zara McDonald at the Bay Area Puma Project, when a lion attacked a mother and daughter, who contracted and died of rabies.

If any locals want to report a lion, the how-to instructions are here.

A mountain lion at the Cincinnati Zoo. (Greg Hume/Wikipedia)

H/t SFist

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  2. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  3. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  4. photo: Social-distancing stickers help elevator passengers at an IKEA store in Berlin.
    Transportation

    Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators?

    Fear of crowds in small spaces in the pandemic is spurring new norms and technological changes for the people-moving machines that make skyscrapers possible.

  5. A woman stares out at crowds from behind a screen, reflecting on a post-pandemic world where exposure with others feels scary.
    Life

    What Our Post-Pandemic Behavior Might Look Like

    After each epidemic and disaster, our social norms and behaviors change. As researchers begin to study coronavirus’s impacts, history offers clues.

×