Okay, get ready for the mountain lions to make their appearance in the Montclair Hills soon. They seem to be traveling north these days.
Last Sunday, there was a lion sighting in Hayward. The Hayward Daily Review reported that residents watched the lion in the grass near little league playing fields. According to Carolyn Chew, “I was watching it and was just fascinated. It was watching three deer. The deer ran and got away. I felt like I was in a National Geographic movie.”
KTVU News reported another mountain lion sighting today, this time near Keller Avenue. They interviewed a witness who watched a lion lounging in a tree for a while – but this feline disappeared before Oakland’s animal control folks showed up.
It’s not the first time there have been lions visiting Oakland. According to the Tribune, there was a sighting near Broadway Terrace in December 2004 and several appearances right on the Mills College campus during mid-2003. Yet these creatures aren’t usually parading around our neighborhoods.
Typically the lions just hang out in more rural reaches, including the protected areas nearby. East Bay Regional Park officials believe the lion population is doing well, as many local hikers have spotted and reported the cats over the years. In addition, there’s a strong supply of deer and even feral pigs available for their meals.
Back in 2007, Redwood Park Ranger Dee Rosario explained that “none of the rangers have seen [lions] because we are always working or making noise.” Still the warning signs are there for a good reason, because the felines are nearby and ready to surprise park visitors.
Lions don’t understand park boundaries when pursuing prey, however. They could set their sights on the deer roaming our hills, but we’ll have to see what happens. Welcome to Animal Planet, Montclair edition.