SAN FRANCISCO—Since June 30, there have been at least four mountain lion sightings in San Francisco, one of which was caught on a neighborhood security camera.
On June 30, a mountain lion was captured on one of the neighborhood security cameras in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco. Since then, the mountain lion has been spotted on three separate occasions, on Gough Street, in western Presidio and in southwest San Francisco near Lake Merced.
The last sighting of the mountain lion occurred on July 3 and authorities suspect that the animal was moving south at that time. It is believed that all four sightings have been the same mountain lion and that there are not multiple mountain lions roaming the San Francisco streets.
Mountain lions, also known as pumas and cougars, are rarely seen in the densely populated city of San Francisco. Sightings are common place in the surrounding mountainous communities where there have already been several this year, but human interaction with mountain lions is quite rare. Mountain lions are generally solitary animals who rarely interact with humans.
Last year, a mountain lion attacked a 6-year-old boy in the nearby city of Cupertino. The boy was released from the hospital shortly after the attack and the animal was shot and killed after authorities failed to capture it. Mountain lions typically hunt deer and other small animals. They have been known to attack large and medium sized dogs as well as coyotes, although there typical prey involves smaller animals. According to National Geographic, mountain lion attacks on humans are quite rare. On average, there are no more than four attacks on humans each year in all of the United States and Canada.
In nearly 30 years, there have been only 10 non-fatal mountain lion attacks and three fatal ones, several of which occurred while victims were hiking in the mountain lions natural habitat.