HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is warning people to be careful when walking on the Coastside Trail near Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay after at least two recent mountain lion sightings.
Half Moon Bay resident Shannon Wilke shared pictures with ABC7 showing a mountain lion near a truck outside a home on Metzgar Street near Poplar Beach on Friday. That's about a mile from downtown Half Moon Bay.
San Mateo County Sheriff's deputies have started looking for the big cat.
Hatch Elementary School had students shelter in place out of an abundance of caution, said Cabrillo Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge.
The mountain lion was seen walking toward trees and brush, presumably back to where it lives, according to the sheriff's office.
Monday at around 6:30 a.m., Steve Maller captured Nest footage of a mountain lion right in front of his home near Poplar Beach.
"For the last couple days, most of us in the neighborhood have been on really high alert because we have two dogs, one of whom is very small," Maller said. "He's a mini long-haired dachshund and he's only about 12 pounds, so he is the size of a house cat, basically, and this mountain lion has already taken one of our neighbors' cats, killed it from about two, three blocks away, up Poplar Street, and so we've been very concerned."
This isn't the first time Maller has captured the mountain lion on camera near his home.
In one video taken overnight, it appears the lion has something in his mouth, such as a small animal, Maller said.
In a separate incident bout a month ago, a mountain lion attacked a boy who was on a hiking trail, not far from Half Moon Bay. The boy was injured and that lion was not captured.
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said they've notified the California Department of Fish and Wildlife about these recent sightings.
Ken Paglia, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said they assume these sightings are the same mountain lion. But Maller said it has been seen in a developed area with homes.
Paglia said the location of the recent sightings is a mountain lion habitat and said it's not surprising.
"There's a lot of kids that walk to school in the mornings," Maller said. "The mountain lion isn't going to hunt kids but you certainly wouldn't want a bunch of kids to stumble upon a mountain lion and start screaming, and not know what to do and the mountain lion panics because there was an attack."
Paglia said the lion is not showing any abnormal behavior and they're not actively looking for it.
The sheriff's office says these sightings have been early in the morning. They're asking residents walking their dogs to be vigilant and try to walk in a group. If you come across a mountain lion, they ask you stay away and call them.
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