According to a press release issued by the Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, and San Francisco Animal Care and Control, four sightings of a mountain lion have been reported around San Francisco since June 30.
Three of the sightings have not been confirmed by experts, but the first sighting of the four was caught on video by a neighborhood security camera in Sea Cliff, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The first two sightings occurred on June 30 in Sea Cliff and in the western Presidio; the third occurred on July 1 in the 1000 block of Gough Street, and the most recent sighting came on July 3 in southwest San Francisco near Lake Merced. In all the reported sightings the animal was heading south.
The press release states that mountain lions have not been seen in San Francisco for many years but acknowledges that undeveloped areas of Marin and San Mateo have seen regular occurrences of mountain lion sightings.
The three agencies offered safety guidelines if someone is near a mountain lion: “Maintain eye contact, do not approach the mountain lion, make noise, do not turn your back or run, appear as big and threatening as possible, and give the lion room to run away; don’t corner it.
In case the lion looks threatening, the release advised, “Pull children close to you and pick them up without crouching down, throw rocks, sticks, water bottles, backpacks, and any heavy objects available to you, speak loudly and firmly, wave your arms and clap your hands above your head, and fight back if attacked. Do not play dead or lie down.”
The release also cautioned to “Be especially mindful between dusk and dawn. Be sure to keep pets on leash at all times.”
Although it has been years since a mountain lion has been seen in San Francisco, in nearby San Mateo on May 18 a 90-pound, six-foot mountain lion was caught and tranquilized in a residential backyard.
The Bay Area Puma Project tracks sightings of mountain lions; their map is here.