SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — A mountain lion seen strolling across El Camino Real in San Mateo eluded capture early Monday despite an intense search for the animal.

San Mateo police said officers were responding to an unrelated call for service when they reported seeing a mountain lion jaywalking across the intersection of W. Poplar Ave. and N. El Camino Real at around 1:15 a.m.

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The mountain lion quickly ran westbound and a search was launched. Several officers saturated the area and conducted a thorough search, but were unable to locate the animal.

Officers described the mountain lion as 5’-06” in length, 150 pounds, and brown colored.

An alert was sent out to local residents notifying of the possible threat in their neighborhood.

Although it would be rare for a mountain lion to approach humans, authorities said, you should follow a few simple rules to keep you and your family safe:

    • Do not feed deer. It is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
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    • Do not approach a mountain lion if seen, especially one that is feeding or with offspring. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation.


    • Avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, or at night.


    • Keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or about wooded areas.


    • Do not run if you encounter a mountain lion. Instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects; pick up small children.


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