SAN CARLOS (CBS SF) — The Vardi family got quite a surprise over the weekend when they checked the video from their backyard home security camera. Unfolding before their eyes wasn’t a scene from the Nature Channel, but a mountain loin with its kill in their San Carlos backyard.
On the video, the large mountain lion can been seen dragging the carcass of a black tail deer through the yard.READ MORE: Thieves Target License Plates in San Francisco; Rack Up Parking Tickets
Conservation advocate Josh Rosenau of the Mountain Lion Foundation says between the proliferation of cameras and people moving further into nature, these sightings are happening more often.
“A lot of people move out to be closer to those woods and then get a little bit surprised when suddenly things come out of the woods into their backyard,” he told KPIX 5.
Over the last several months, mountain lion sightings have been on the rise across the Bay Area.
A wayward mountain lion prompted a lockdown at two Rohnert Park middle schools until it was tranquilized and removed from the area. A big cat was spotted several times in a Morgan Hill neighborhood.
Mountain lions have also been caught lurking in the shadows on security cameras in Millbrae. A handful of residents in the Oakland hills and Piedmont say they’ve seen mutilated deer carcasses in their neighborhoods. One wildcat was even caught in a tree in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood and transported to the Oakland Zoo while another broke into a San Bruno home filled with game trophies.READ MORE: Stockton Woman Fatally Shot Over The Weekend
More than half of the state is mountain lion territory, and it’s not too unusual to see them popping up in unexpected places, according to officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The species typically migrates during the dry season in search of ample food and water supplies, but they might be traveling further than usual as drought conditions are on the rise and deer populations are declining, department spokesperson Ken Paglia said.
“Be aware that we do share the state with other wildlife, like mountain lions or bears, they are around,” Paglia said. “Even though they potentially can be dangerous, they’re usually in the city because they’re looking for food resources and they’re not there to hurt us.”
Despite the recent sightings being attacked by a mountain lion is a rare occurrence.
“We want to make sure the public is safe, but we also want the animal to be able to live out his life in its own habitat. That’s probably the best solution,” Paglia said.MORE NEWS: Massive Ash Cloud Turns Tonga Into Moonscape; Anxiety Mounts Among Bay Area Tongans
Installing motion center lights around the property, keeping pets indoors at night and adequately storing feed supplies are some of the ways residents can avoid encounters with mountain lions. More tips and tricks from the Mountain Lion Foundation can be found at https://issuu.com/mountainlionfoundation/docs/cdfw_mlf_conflict_brochure_booklet_final_2020.