(KRON) – In the North Bay early Thursday morning, the city of Rohnert Park reported a mountain lion sighting. Earlier this week, several coyotes were seen roaming the streets of San Francisco.
In the city’s Marina District, a coyote could be seen eating what appears to be a rat. Moments later, three more made their way through the neighborhood.
Coyotes are not uncommon in San Francisco, but these recent sightings may be a result of coyote pupping season. Warning signs are posted around the city and trails are closed off at Presidio Park until the fall to keep pets safe.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, coyotes thrive in urban and residential areas. Experts say it is best to leave them alone, and if you encounter one, you should make yourself big and make noise to scare the coyote away.
In the North Bay, a mountain lion was reportedly spotted in the area of Copeland Creek Trail which is near a school. Police were unable to find it and issued a Nixle alert to the public, saying to use caution and stay aware of your surroundings when you’re out walking — especially with pets and children.
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A spokesperson with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says the ongoing drought and wildfires are contributing factors to wildlife sightings in urban areas but added that half of California is considered mountain lion territory and that sightings like this caught on home surveillance video are usually a young male passing through looking for new territory. The big cats are usually looking for deer and pets.
Wildlife experts say if you encounter a mountain lion, stay calm, do not approach it, never run away, and try your best to appear intimidating. Whether it’s a coyote or a mountain lion you see, Fish and wildlife officials say it is a reminder that wildlife is out there.