Multiple mountain lion sightings in a San Luis Obispo community

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 21:42:16-04

There have been two official reports of mountain lion sightings and talk of a couple more at the Creekside mobile home community on S. Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo.

Some residents initially spotted a mountain lion by the creek, but one woman said she saw two cubs roaming the neighborhood streets just a couple of days ago.

"They stopped there and looked at me," said Creekside resident Michelle West. "They stopped and stared and then the second one came out and followed the first one.”

Two weeks ago, we spoke with Creekside resident Michelle West soon after she spotted a mountain lion early in the morning while walking her dog, but it wouldn’t be the last time. On Monday, she spotted the two cubs.

"The mountain lions are not afraid to walk on the asphalt. They’re going through the park," said West.

Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are tracking some of these big cats in the county and say it’s normal for the lions to cover 10 miles in a day, looking for food and water.

“With the creek down below it, that’s not too surprising either – especially if it dries out everywhere else, it might be coming there," said Bob Stafford, senior wildlife biologist with Fish and Wildlife. "And if they are attracted to deer in the area, it’s the same type of situation.”

Stafford also says there is no immediate public threat, but the department is monitoring the reports.

"If the situation occurred where the lion was stalking someone, that would mean an immediate public safety threat. Then the lion would be taken, the lion would be killed," said Stafford.

One woman is concerned for the safety of her cat.

”It’s just kind of scary. A lot of us have animals, a lot of cats, so we are keeping our cats in," said Linda Barnett, a Creekside resident.

Fish and Wildlife also advises people to keep pet food indoors.

"Make sure that no one is feeding cats because sometimes people will feed cats, cat colonies will start up and eat the cats," added Stafford.

Creekside residents created a neighborhood watch Facebook page to alert people of any more activity.

"Concern is for the kids and pets of this park. That’s my concern. Mountain lions, it’s a shame but they belong in the mountains," added West.

Fish and Game came to the area to look for paw prints and scat but found no traces of mountain lions. In the meantime, they passed out a pamphlet which describes what to do when you see a mountain lion and what to look for.

If you do see a mountain lion, remember to NOT crouch down or run away. Instead, make yourself look big. You can call the San Luis Obispo Police Department to file a report.

For more information about living with California mountain lions, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.