Mountain lion spotted in San Mateo backyard, 2nd big cat sighting since Friday

A bobcat was spotted in San Mateo Sunday evening. This is the second confirmed big cat sighting in the Peninsula city since Friday, according to police.

"I actually saw the cat," David Cheung told KTVU. "We were just having dinner, and out of the corner of our eyes. We saw the bob cat and had to take a picture."

Sunday's sighting happened at about 6:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of Kingridge Drive. 

"We called police just to make everyone aware," said Cheung.

The bobcat was spotted in the backyard of a resident's home, according to police. It later walked to a nearby parking lot and disappeared.

"It wasn’t hurting anyone," said Cheung. "There’s a lot of deer in this area, so maybe it was looking for food. We also have a nearby creek. That’s a source of water for a lot of critters."

Online, some people have gone as far as to name the bobcat "Bob."

On Friday, another wildcat was seen, this time it was a mountain lion. 

It was spotted on Vanessa Drive and near South Grant Street, police said. The animal appeared to be traveling along Leslie Creek.

Officers searched the area but did not find the big cat.

A bobcat was spotted in San Mateo on Aug. 20, 2023. Photo: via San Mateo police

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"I’m not sure what’s causing too big cats to come out two days apart," said Jeanine Luna with the San Mateo Police Department. "It’s pretty interesting. We normally will get a few sightings every few months or so but this definitely in a short span of time, it’s interesting." 

The police department told KTVU the big cat sightings are not that uncommon given the neighborhood's proximity to Sugarloaf Mountain. 

"Still, you want to be aware of your surroundings," said Luna. "If you do cross paths with a large cat, you wanna make yourself appear bigger, make a lot of noise and keep your distance without turning your back to it. You also want to be mindful of your pets."

Although it would be rare for a mountain lion or bobcat to approach humans, you should follow a few simple rules to keep you and your family safe:  

-Do not feed deer. It is illegal in California, and it will attract mountain lions.  

-DO NOT APPROACH a mountain lion if seen, especially one that is feeding or with offspring. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation.  

-Avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, or at night.  

-Keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or about wooded areas.  

-Do not run if you encounter a mountain lion. Instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects; pick up small children.  

-For more information about mountain lions, click


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