SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — A San Mateo family got quite a surprise when when they looked at their home security surveillance video Saturday morning. A mountain lion has been prowling around their backyard.

San Mateo police said a resident spotted the big cat about 6:45 a.m. Saturday on a backyard deck in the 4100 block of Alameda de las Pulgas. Officers responded to the resident’s 911 call, searching the area but couldn’t locate the mountain lion.

Surveillance camera video revealed the mountain lion had also paid a visit to their home the night before about 10 p.m. Friday. The animal never acted aggressive, police said.

While it’s rare for mountain lions to approach humans, the San Mateo Police Department has tips for staying safe that include not feeding deer, which attract the big cats.

Anyone who sees a mountain lion should not approach it, and people should avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active-dawn, dusk or at night.

Parents are advised to keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or about wooded areas.

Anyone who encounters a mountain lion should not run, but face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving arms, and throwing rocks or other objects.

For more information about mountain lions go to and