Do mountain lions in Pleasanton threaten our safety, and how should we deal with them? Comments on Stories, posted by Resident, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2007 at 1:49 am
Last year, a mountain lion was killed by government officials, in Pleasanton, because it was deemed dangerous. Later, that government department faced serious questioning about the extent to which the animal caused danger and how they chose to deal with the problem. The government kills millions of wildlife animals each year, spending upwards of tens of thousands of dollars doing so. In Pleasanton, is wildlife, i.e. mountain lions near a school, a problem? And if so, what is the most humane, ethical, cost-effective and easy way to solve the problem?
Posted by Nan Lyness, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2007 at 6:26 pm
Mountain lions are solitary animals who are inclined to avoid people. They are rarely aggressive toward humans and in fact they are quite reclusive and usually avoid contact with people. I believe the best course of action when a mountain lion is spotted in Pleasanton is to simply leave the lion alone. Indeed, statistically, the chances of being attacked by a mountain lion are exceedingly remote; over the last hundred years or so, there have been barely more than 50 reported mountain lion attacks throughout the entire United States and Canada. In the incredibly rare event that a person comes into contact with a lion that is actually aggressive, it is recommended that the person shout and make himself appear as large as possible (by, for example, spreading his arms) as this conduct will frighten a lion away. "Playing dead" or running away/crouching, is ill-advised as it gives the lion the impression that the person is "prey".
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2007 at 10:15 am
Mountain lion in Pleasanton, let’s see, we all learn to look bigger and not run away. Maybe that could be a PE exercise for the children at Valley View. Let’s get real… A Mountain lion near the fence line of an elementary school should be put down onsite, no questions asked. Mountain lions in the wild / back country deserve our respect. Mountain lions in town deserve our respect as well, but at the end of a gun (tranquilizer or not….), our children’s safety comes first.
Posted by John, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Mar 28, 2007 at 6:51 pm
Saying that mountain lions rarely attack people is easy to say if you're an adult. But a 2 year old playing happily in his yard might look like easy prey to a wild animal. I will ALWAYS put the safety of my children and other children in the community before the safety of an animal.
Let's not wait for a trajedy before we act on this.
Posted by Liz, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2007 at 12:44 pm
I have to agree with Steve and John. There is no question as to what should happen to an animal that could be a threat to our children or anyone else. It is unfortunate that with so much construction in Pleasanton and Dublin that the deer and mountain lions need to come out of their habitats in search for food. However sad it is, sadder still would be a tragedy waiting to happen to a child.
We have no problem hunting and killing deer yet we protest putting down a mountain lion in our midst. We continue to wear leather, eat things that used to have faces, but we have a problem protecting our kids from a potentially dangerous animal because of it's inherent right to live. It's great to talk about how to handle a situation if threatened, very different when it actually happens. We assume that everyone knows what to do and then that it will actually be effective in warding off the animal.
Simplisitic attitudes about animal safety will not solve the problem which is growing in our community.
Posted by Nicole, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2007 at 6:52 pm
Just because a lion is lurking by a fence in NO WAY gives anyone the right to kill it or "put it down." That's cruel. There are far worse dangerous animals residing in your backyards that can harm a child anyday. I was raised in San Jose and had numerous run-ins with mountain lions, trust me, they are more scared of you than you are of them as cliche as that may sound. There have been only 15 verified mountain lion attacks on humans in all of California since 1890, six of them fatal (Web Link). Also, Speaking from a hunters point of view, Liz, we kill the animals we can eat...or at least legit hunters do. Poaching is what you are getting at we don't kill everything that has a face, there are rules to the game. Anyways, There are habitats it can be taken to far, far away from precious Pleasanton and the kids will once again be safe to roam the streets with the cute cuddly rabid squirrels, racoons and possums.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2007 at 6:00 pm
Let's stop saying 'put down' and use the accurate word 'kill.' Any mountain lion unfortunate enough to have roamed into the suburbs should be shot with a tranquilizer gun and then removed to safety.
I live in Vintage Hills and have two children, and I was angry when I learned that the mountain lion was shot and killed in our neighborhood last year, or whenever it was. The lion isn't on a bloodlust mission to kill a child. That would be men who do that, or am I the only one who reads the articles about dead girls found discarded after being raped that periodically show up in my local newspaper?
Posted by Paulette Kenyon, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2007 at 10:03 pm
According to the Wildlife columnist in CC Times, Gary Bogue, mountain lion sitings are often someone's overaction imagination, seeing a neighbor's yellow lab who happened to get out and is running around in a field. Even large house cats have been reported as mountain lions, he pointed out. He said that recently the wildlife specialists called into Pleasanton found no telltale evidence of mountain lions around the school (no footprints, scat, etc, I'm guessing...). However, whenever I've been over to the ponds at Shadow Cliffs, I've seen a sign there that says to watch out for mountain lions. And, that school isn't too far from Shadow Cliffs. So, since Pleasanton continues to build houses right up to the edges of Shadow Cliffs and all around it, wiping out every square inch that comes within 25 yards of a watershed, we shouldn't be surprised if we see some in our neighborhoods. My husband saw a big old wild pig down at the creek behind our house at dusk a couple years ago.
It seems to me that parents are already terrified to let children out in the public without 20 other people at once accompanying them. I never seen kids down at the creek, unless they're riding bikes with their parents on the paved trail. Seems to me that kids are already pretty much in "lockup" here in Pleasanton.
But, these mountain lion sitings should give parents even more reason to continue with the "lock-up." And, with an eye to their future, keeping kids locked up is good training! Gets them ready for those 60 hour workweeks they have to look forward to when they grow up. Right? And, those organized sports? Gets them ready to line up and be good little soldiers over in Iraq, Iran, Columbia, or wherever our government needs children raised on total respect for authority and fear of enemies. Oh! And, mountain lions too.
Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2010 at 11:17 am
As we continue to breed and build more housing to accommodate our population growth, we further encroach into wildlife's domain. I agree with an earlier post -- Look at it from the mountain lion's point of view: If we stopped building million dollar homes on their turf, then maybe they'd stop wandering onto what you now see as your turf. Funny thing is -- it's really not your turf until the bank loan is paid off, yet you see it as something worth killing for.
Keep this in mind too. -- We reap what we sow. If we keep killing wildlife because we dislike their natural behavior, all we'll eventually have left to turn our guns on is one another.