Palo Alto police get two reports of mountain lions in different neighborhoods

By the Daily Post staff

Palo Alto police received two reports of dog-size mountain lions last night (Feb. 3) — one in the Midtown neighborhood and another not far from Edgewood Plaza.

What the two sightings have in common is that they were both near creeks — one near Matadero and the other three blocks from San Francisquito Creek.

Police weren’t able to locate the animal or animals.

The first report came in at 8:10 p.m. when a resident in the 600 block of Wildwood Lane said she was driving home when she saw a large animal in the street in front of her house. Based on its size, she initially thought it was a dog. As she drove closer, however, her vehicle apparently startled it, and it ran away and jumped over the fence into her backyard. Then she realized it was a mountain lion.
She called police, and officers checked the area extensively but couldn’t find the animal.

The second report came in at 11:36 p.m. when a woman told police she had been walking on Sutter Avenue near Clara Drive in the Midtown neighborhood when she spotted a mountain lion walking down the street. The animal was about 75 feet away and walking away from her, she said. She called police, and again officers checked the area without success. The area is immediately adjacent to Matadero Creek.

Police note that the sightings are about one and a half miles from one another. While the descriptions of both animals were roughly similar — the size of a large dog — there is no way to know for sure if this was the same lion seen twice, or two separate lions.

Police increased patrols in both neighborhoods.

The last mountain lion sighting in the suburban portion of Palo Alto was in August when a resident saw an adult and a kitten in a tree in the 1700 block of Webster Street. Police weren’t able to find those cats either.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story, based on a statement from police, had the first report at 10:10 p.m., but police later corrected that information to say the first report came in at 8:10 p.m.