Hiking trails closed in Los Altos Hills due to uptick in mountain lion activity

Some popular hiking trails in Los Altos Hills were closed this week due to mountain lion activity. And while experts say this is perfectly normal, they're taking the opportunity to raise awareness about the animals this spring. 

Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills is popular with children who come to see the farm and with hikers who like to use the trails.

But this week it also played host to a mountain lion or two, who left their dinner, a deer carcass, behind.

And so Hidden Villa sent out alerts, promptly closing five hiking trails.

Peter Gotcher, wildlife specialist with Santa Clara County Vector Control says, "A mountain lion takes a lot of effort when it has to kill a deer. So it's going to hang around for a day or two and try and feed off that deer carcass as long as it can." 

In recent weeks, mountain lions have ventured into more urban areas as well.
Two cubs took a stroll through Half Moon Bay. And another guy went to Macy's in Santa Rosa.

Santa Clara County officals decided to put out a warning, just to raise awareness.

Gotcher says, "Young adults are coming out on their own. Also deer are beginning to give birth so fawns are a natural food source for mountain lions. So they're all out and about. And of course we have beautiful weather so we're all out and about more."

They say while more people have been capturing the critters on camera, the chance of a human encounter is still pretty rare.

But if you do see one don't run, back away slowly.

Gotcher says, "Make noise, put your arms up, look big."

And while it is still wise to use caution while hiking, Hidden Villa is planning on reopening all those trails for the weekend.