SAN MATEO, Calif. (KRON) – On the Peninsula, a popular trail is back open. San Mateo County Parks closed the Crystal Springs Regional Trail in San Mateo after a mountain lion sighting.
No humans were hurt, but wildlife experts say mountain lions avoid people. Park officials say this sighting is a reminder we share this space with them.
Sawyer Camp was fully back open Thursday. Park officials closed the segment of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail Wednesday afternoon after a mountain lion sighting.
Park officials posted the update on their social media pages, notifying the public of mountain lion activity.
Officials went on to say the closure was to make sure the cat had cleared the area for her sake and hikers after dragging portions of kill to hide and return later, which is what happened.
“I was surprised to hear they were actually on the trail but I was glad to hear it because it’s where it should be,” Benjamin Lamar said. “Because they were here first.”
Benjamin Lamar has been cycling the trail for decades and never spotted a mountain lion but says he is familiar with what to do if he comes across one.
“I don’t think it would mess with me because I’m going to be like three times as big as it and I’m going to be very loud and obnoxious,” Lamar said.
That’s exactly what wildlife experts advise. Tiffany Yap is a wildlife scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland
“The best thing to do when you come across a mountain lion is just to really be alert, make some noise, back away and you know kind of give it space you know and respect its space,” Yap said.
While this big cat was spotted in its natural habitat, there have been sightings outside homes in San Mateo County.
Earlier this month, a homeowner shared his home surveillance video of a mountain lion sighting in Millbrae, believed to be the same sighting from March and April.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says half of California is considered mountain lion territory.
Yap adding this reminder: “It’s really important to keep in mind we’re moving through, we’re driving through, we’re walking through, we’re biking through mountain lion habitat and try to do our best to share the space with them.”
Yap says while mountain lions are top predators, they are actually quite fearful of people, and most of the time they are looking for deer but experts say it’s always a good idea to keep outdoor pets inside at sunset to overnight because that’s when the sightings usually take place.