SAN MATEO (BCN) — A police patrol vehicle hit a mountain lion that was bounding across lanes of State Route 92 in San Mateo late Saturday, authorities said.

An officer on patrol was headed eastbound on the highway and had just passed the Hillsdale Boulevard exit about 10:25 p.m. when he spotted the big cat running across lanes from left to right, according to San Mateo police.

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The officer applied his brakes but collided with the mountain lion, police said. When the officer returned to the area, the animal was gone.

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The officer wasn’t hurt but the impact left the patrol vehicle damaged, with patches of animal hair, according to a release from police.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife is encouraging people to follow safety guidelines in areas where mountain lions may be encountered. These guidelines include keeping watch of children, being mindful of times in the day when mountain lions are most active, and not approaching if a mountain lion is spotted from a distance.

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