The warm days of spring have many animals traveling the landscape in search of food, water, and mates, sometimes with little ones in tow. On April 21, hikers reported a mountain lion and cub on the Wildcat Creek Trail in Tilden Nature Area about a mile north of the Environmental Education Center. Sightings in regional parks, including Tilden and Wildcat, are rare, but the parks are part of their range. Informational signs have been posted, and park visitors are advised to take note of the lion-related recommendations on park information panels. In brief, if you encounter a mountain lion you should stand tall and spread your arms to appear as large as possible, talk in a loud voice, and back away slowly to give the animal room to escape. More than half of California is mountain lion habitat, and for more information including tips on what to do if you should encounter one wherever you are, we recommend the California Department of Fish and Game as a resource www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion.
If you see a mountain lion in a regional park, inform dispatch at (510) 881-1833 or file a report by calling our stewardship department at (510) 544-2340 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also inform the park supervisor or park personnel in the area. Our stewardship department keeps a database of all sightings and generally discusses the sighting with whoever makes a report. Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people. Again, mountain lion encounters and sightings are very rare, but please be aware of the potential as you are enjoying the parks.
Photo: Courtesy of California Department of Fish and Game