Peninsula News

Residents aware after mountain lion attacks deer

Friday, December 10, 2010

Belmont police are alerting neighbors to a mountain lion attack that occurred sometime on Wednesday night. A deer carcass turned up just behind Ralston Middle School, off of Ralston Road. San Mateo County has seen an increase in cougar sightings this year.

There is no doubt paw prints of a mountain lion were found. The Belmont Patch provided ABC7 with pictures of the paw prints.

"Fish and Game was able to determine that based on the evidence left at the scene including footprints," says Belmont Police Lt. Patrick Halleran.

In fact, there were two, a female and its cub that killed a deer grazing on the field behind Ralston Middle School. The carcass was discovered Thursday morning.

"After we became aware of the incident and confirmed it was a mountain lion, we sent out both a reverse 911 telephone message to the area, as well as text message alerts to citizens," says Halleran.

The school borders a canyon where deer are always present, but because mountain lions are nocturnal, police are not concerned that it may attack a student. Still people who use the nearby Waterdog Trail, say they'll be more alert when walking their dogs.

"I'd be more aware definitely because I take [my dog] off leash on Waterdog a little bit and let him run around. So definitely I'll have my eye out a little more, for sure," says Belmont resident Roy Jorgensen.

Meanwhile, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department says the number of reported sightings of mountain lions has increased from 14 last year to 35 this year -- four alone were in Belmont.

"In terms of there being sightings, it doesn't surprise me too much. I regularly see deer just walking around in my neighborhood, so I kind of know there is wild life around and I guess I'm OK with that," says Belmont resident Mike Falcone.

Wherever deer are found, mountain lions generally will follow.

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belmont, mountain lion sighting, peninsula news, lyanne melendez
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