NewsLocal News


San Luis Obispo residents catch recent mountain lion sightings on camera

Mountain Lion
Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 22:47:28-05

Some neighbors in San Luis Obispo are on high alert after several reports of mountain lion sightings near the Irish Hills and Johnson Ranch hking trails and even in some people's backyards.

Early Monday morning, a KSBY viewer reported that a mountain lion was spotted behind the fence at Vista del Lago Park. Since then, San Luis Obispo police officers have put up a sign in the area to warn families about their new feline neighbor.

But that's not the only recent sighting.

"She took another look because she thought that looked too big to be a little golden retriever, and she went, 'Oh my goodness, it is a mountain lion!'" recalled Rosanna Medeiros, who lives near Madonna and Los Osos Valley roads.

She says last Monday morning, she and her daughter spotted the big cat after they let their dog out into the backyard. Medeiros says they quickly brought the dog inside, and the mountain lion attempted to follow.

"Once the dog and they were all in, the mountain lion proceeded to slowly walk up to the sliding glass door and just stopped to look and see what was going on," Medeiros added.

An official with California's Department of Fish and Wildlife says in the past week, they have received numerous calls from other locals who had similar encounters.

"We are seeing a lot more activity, interaction with people in neighborhoods where you don't see mountain lion activity," said biologist Brandon Swanson.

He says there are a few explanations behind the recent sightings, including a decrease in deer in the area, territorial shifts among the species, and the drop in temperature. But he adds that it is unlike these creatures to wander so close to humans.

"Typically, they don't want anything to do with us," Swanson told KSBY. "They are curious as any cat is, so they might stare at someone and assess the situation."

Nonetheless, Medeiros is issuing a warning to her fellow neighbors.

"If you are going for walks or with your pets, please be safe. The mountain lions and coyotes and things were already here before us. We know they are out there, just be safe and watch your surroundings," she said.

If you are out walking and come across a mountain lion yourself, Swanson says you should raise your arms, making yourself as big as possible, and back away slowly. He warns that you should never turn your back on the mountain lion as that is when the cat sees you as prey.

California's Fish and Wildlife adds that the mountain lion that has been spotted recently is one they've seen before. They say other cats could also be in the area if there is a territorial change among the male mountain lions.

Wildlife Incident Reports can be made by clicking here: