Possible mountain lion sighted near Pillar Ridge

Posted by on Wed, January 6, 2010

A possible mountain lion was seen in the bluffs above the Pillar Ridge Manufactured Home Community in Moss Beach at about 4pm, according to the County Sheriff.

Were there additional reports near airport, and across Highway 1?

This was the only report I’ve received. In the past, it has been suggested that “mountain lion” sightings in this area are actually bobcats:


And with the occasional off-leash dog on the bluff trail above, a possible sighting of a Golden Retriever?  :P

Sorry to be cheeky, but our California Cougar is seen less and less in the past 30 years due to their shrinking wilderness.  A cougar could not cross busy Highway 1 without notice.

When someone sights a tawny puma, THEY WILL KNOW its a puma.  Usually these cats remain unseen, unless someone is prey.  The attack provides confirmation of a “mountain lion sighting.” 

We see more wildlife lingering around Popeye’s Chicken at 92/1, than at Pillar Ridge.

Why do people in this area always dismiss mountain lion sightings as bobcats, golden retrievers, etc. I think most people know the difference between these animals and it’s insulting to their intelligence. I was actually fortunate enough to see a bobcat just this morning on Sunshine Valley Road and they’re unmistakable with their short tail, pointy ears, etc. Mountain lions are not as elusive as once thought. Due to the shrinking of their habitat, there have been several sightings in residential areas throughout Woodside, Portola Valley and La Honda in the last few years. I believe these sightings are indeed credible. On another note, they are capable of crossing Highway 1 via storm drains and/or creek beds.

Bobcats have been sighted numerous times and photographed at Pillar Ridge, in back yards on the west side bordering the open space and around the community center.

“Why do people in this area always dismiss mountain lion sightings?”

1. Determine if your area is truly considered “mountain lion habitat.”  Typically, mountain lion habitat is where deer are found.  Deer are not plentiful west of Highway 1.  Additionally, MLs prefer deer and other game to people.  We smell bad to the ML.

2. Mountain Lions like dense vegetation and are better at hiding than humans are at detecting their presence.  Mountain Lions are found dusk to dawn, but prefer the night.

3. from this website:  http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/lion_faq.html 

If I live in mountain lion habitat, how concerned should I be for my safety?
Statistically speaking, a person is one thousand times more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion.


There is more romanticization and myth-making of wildlife by those who have moved to a rural area, than by those who were born and raised in the area.  Typically, any “sightings” will be “witnessed” by <u>newcomers</u>.

Rest easy, here is a list of *verified* mountain lion attacks since 1890:  http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/lion/attacks.html  (Note:  Not many for over 100 years of population growth.)

Until 1990, mountain lions were legally hunted.  Mountain Lions are listed as “specially protected” due to presumably low numbers remaining.

If anyone is to want to learn more about mountain lions, please also know about Margaret Wentworth Owings:  http://www.cspra.com/owings.html

Information on mountain lions is rampant on the internet, do some searches to read such goodies as:
and the best: