Mountain lion spotted in Lafayette backyard

May 29, 2013 12:40:02 PM PDT
A neighborhood in Lafayette is on edge after a mountain lion was spotted in a backyard. It's less than a half mile from where a wild cat was seen last August. The animal was sighted on Sweet Drive near Woodview Drive.

Some neighbors won't look into their backyards the same way again. The mountain lion disappeared before people realized it was even there. Wildlife officials are warning people to keep an eye on small children and animals.

It's pretty common to see wildlife as you drive up the hills of Lafayette, but neighbors are not used to the type of animal that turned up over the weekend. A photo that's making the rounds shows a mountain lion perched in an oak tree behind a home on Sweet Drive.

"I was like, 'Oh my God. This is crazy,'" said 14-year-old Lafayette resident Maleik Wright.

Wright took the picture Saturday afternoon around 4:30 in the backyard of his aunt's home. At the time he thought he was photographing a squirrel, and didn't notice the big cat until the next day.

"He's like, 'You can't go out there. I just looked at the picture that I took yesterday' of what he thought was a squirrel and it ended up being a mountain lion in the background. So I was a little bit freaked out," said Lafayette resident Tina Glenn.

The photo has been emailed to neighbors including Colleen Miller who keeps three chickens in her back yard. She's now extra cautious during feeding time.

"Oh, today, yeah, I heard rustling in the oaks back there and I wasn't going to turn my back to the oaks," said Miller.

She wonders if her dog Maggie sensed the mountain lion a few days ago.

"Oh, on Saturday night she went nutso and she doesn't usually. She's used to deer. She's used to turkeys," said Miller.

Mountain lions are native to open parklands of the Bay Area, but rarely attack. Experts say if you encounter one you should stand tall and slowly back away.

Around Sweet Drive, some neighbors are now keeping their pets inside more and not letting their children walk alone through wooded areas.

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