REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KTVU) - A Bay Area couple had quite a scare recently when they returned to their Peninsula home one night, only to find a mountain lion in their driveway.
Part of the encounter was caught on Anthony and Lizzy Lahlouh's home surveillance camera.
The video, recorded on their Nest cam, captured the Redwood City couple's unforgettable encounter.
"I was pretty shocked and it was even intimidating just to see the size of that animal, in my own car, in the safety of my vehicle," said homeowner Anthony Lahlouh.
It happened around 9:30 Thursday night at Lahlouh's home on OakView Way in the Emerald Hills area of Redwood City.
"I was pulling into the driveway when I was thinking to myself, 'Oh, that's a pretty large cat.' The closer I got I realized that's not a cat--that is a mountain lion!" said Lahlouh.
The Redwood City native says the wild animal with big paws turned and looked at him, and only after he flashed his car headlights and honked the horn did the puma move down his driveway and jump the fence into his backyard. Lahlouh called his wife, who was following behind him in her car and with their dog, Bane.
"I told her, 'Hey, stay in car. Don't get out.' She thought the house was on fire or something like that. I had to reassure her and say, 'No, there's just a mountain lion in the driveway,' " said Lahlouh.
Wildlife officials say the big cats are solitary, elusive, and instinctively wary of humans. Mountain lion attacks on people are rare.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, there have been 16 verified attacks since 1890, six of which were fatal.
"It's a beautiful area to live. It's awesome. But we do live in a heavily wooded area and these animals lived here long before us," said Lahlouh.
State wildlife officials say people are 1,000 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a mountain lion.
Lahlouh knows that statistic, but still wants his neighbors to know they are sharing their habitat with the large animals.