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Wolf Sighting on Martin Avenue

Original post made by AVHS Dad on Oct 12, 2009

Sunday morning between 7:30 and 8AM I saw what I thought at first was a fox running slowly along the inside of the fence between Martin Avenue and the quarry lake. It was a light yellowish color similar to the dry grass. I tried to point it out to my wife but between the berms and the bushes she couldn't see it. After being blocked by a large berm I saw it through the bushes on the other side of the fence on a crest looking out towards the lake. Afer a few seconds it went over the crest, down towards the lake and out of my sight. It wasn't until after that I realized it was much too big to be a fox, and must have been a wolf. I've never seen or heard of a wolf in our area before, although I have seen plenty of smaller critters (including a fox) and have heard about a cougar numerous times. Anyone else see a wolf around there lately? ever?

Comments (26)

Posted by Grace, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

Could it have been a coyote? I saw one over the weekend at the Marin Headlands, right at the side of the ride, with a lot of traffic. There was a documentary on KQED last night regarding coyotes on the outskirts of urban/suburban areas.

Photo of coyote here, for reference:
Web Link

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 10:22 am

AVHS Dad is a registered user.


Thanks, that's a good link. It probably was a large coyote. It's tail was especially bushy. I've never heard them howling in our area after having lived here for 12+ years.

Posted by millie, a resident of Parkside
on Oct 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm

There is a pair of red foxes that live in the Arroyo between Parkside and W. Los Positas. And they do have big bushy tails. I see them all the time. They seem to roam quite a distance along the creek so perhaps it was a fox afterall.
I would highly doubt it was a wolf.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 12, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I heard that it was a wild turkey.

Posted by dOuGlAs KeNdAlL, a resident of Civic Square
on Oct 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I heard that it was Cholo, after a little too MUCH Wild Turkey, trying out his new Halloween costume: a wolf-in-sheep's clothing, from the fashionable new Grabin Newsom line at Nordstroms...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm

i been heard that it was dOuGlAs and I don't mean maybe...


! & rita

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Not either dOuGlAs or Cholo.
I don't think either gets up that early on Sundays.
Most likely a large coyote.

Posted by Tango, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 13, 2009 at 1:03 am

Coyote yes, Wolf no. I don't believe there have been wolves in Ca. in a hundred or so. I'm sure Gary Boge ( Valley Times wild life expert )would also say coyote also.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 13, 2009 at 1:30 am

Couple years ago, I had a grey fox in my backyard at night(set off my security lights)...

No gates left open - It had to come over a six foot fence. I didn't disturb it so I don't know how it got back out...

Cute little thing...

Posted by Cosmic-Charlie, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 13, 2009 at 6:00 am

While backpacking 20 some years ago in the Stanislaus wilderness area outside of the northern Yosemite boundary, a grey wolf crossed our paths, hot on the trail of a deer that pasted moments earlier. These bad boys would be unmistakable from the smaller coyote cousin.

Posted by Kafka-esque, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

Wow, & just last Friday night I could have sworn I saw a whole pack of cougars prowling around Barone's.

Pleasanton does indeed have it's share of "wildlife."

Posted by jon, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Oct 13, 2009 at 8:53 am

There have been several coyote sightings and that would be the best guess. However, by the size and color you describe it could also be a cougar. The only wolves around here are pets and there is no mistaking them.

Posted by McPleasanton, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 13, 2009 at 9:22 am

I had the joy of seeing a family of 6 foxes behind raises behind our home this summer. Similar to your original description in size and coloring with bushy tales. I would see them every night catching squirrels and playing together in an open area behind our home.

There numbers dwindled throughout the summer though. Many were spotted dead on Vineyard trying to cross to get to the lakes. It was a joy for my kids to see them every summer. It was not a joy to realize how impossibly difficult it is becoming for nature to co-exist with man in heavily encroached upon areas.

For this reason and this reason alone I feel housing caps are a good idea for Pleasanton. Keep the ridge in natural condition, protect wildlife and preserve the Valley habitat. Do we really want to be the next San Leandro or Castro Valley?

Posted by Wendy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

My husband and I spotted a fox with a beautiful red bushy tail twice during the summer at approximately 6 am. We live in the shadow cliffs area and the fox was trotting down vineyard and entered the park that fronts our neighborhood. He didn't act afraid...rather very smart :)

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 13, 2009 at 11:31 am

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

I've seen foxes before. This was bigger than a fox.
Most probably a large coyote rather than a wolf.
Didn't seem concerned with us at all.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Oct 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm

well, who hasn't seen a fox. i think it was a beehive or a birds nest...nothing to get too worked up about! PING!

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Last week, I was in Northern California about 30 miles south of Oregon and spotted what I thought was a large coyote. When I checked through binoculars, it was a wolf. After having seen wolves in Montana, I know the difference. A couple days later, a friend of mine who has hunted and fished in the outdoors for decades, phoned me and said, "Guess what. I spotted a wolf this past weekend. Since, he was camped about 20 miles from me, I presume we saw the same wolf, or a relative from the same pack. So, regardless of what DFG may tell you, there ARE wolves in California. (Just not in Pleasanton. -- Yet!)

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 13, 2009 at 1:50 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Behive? Birds Nest? Cholo, are you thinking about a new haircut?

Posted by A. Morgan, a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Cougars at Barones huh? Seems to me that crowd is more Puma-like these days.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

No wolves in Pleasanton? I beg to differ.

Wolves are territorial animals and they establish their territorial boundaries in part through scent marking and howling.

Given the peeing that happens along the Amador/Gatetree fence and the howling that ensues at athletic activities, I'd say we have a lot of wolves in P-town. Most tend to walk upright.

Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

What I saw was not walking upright, it was on all fours.
Again, most probably a large coyote.

Posted by Pat, a resident of West of Foothill
on Nov 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

We live up at about 800 ft on the hill side west of Foothill between Bernal and Castlewood Golf Course. On Friday night, we saw a large --what appeared to be a German Shepard type of beast. We live on a private road that is not accessible and we have only a handful of neighbors -- who do not own German Shepards. My first inclination was that it looks like a large wolf. It was dark outside and I was inside the house. I quickly ran outside and tried to follow it around the other side of the property. I called it as one would call to a dog, but it did not react and just got away. Was it a wolf? It was large, dark, with a lighter muzzle.

We have cats and dogs -- that were indoors at the time. Whatever it was, it could have been following our dogs' scent around the property.

Deer are also plentiful up here -- but it was not a deer. I wasn't drinking, smoking, and do not need glasses to see far sight.

Have any of my neighbors seen anything similar?

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Nov 12, 2009 at 2:10 am

I live near the bottom of Pleasanton Ridge and I've heard coyotes on the ridge. Could have been a large coyote. They should be getting their winter coat about this time of year, which will make them seem larger than they actually are...

"Wasn't drinking" - I would have to be drinking to chase something like that around in the dark...:):)

Posted by Pat, a resident of West of Foothill
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:47 pm

LOL, Jerry, you've got a point. I'm inclined to believe it might have been a coyote -- only reason that this was not my first guess is that I've never seen one in this area the 10 years we've lived here (nor heard them). We have cats and dogs and they come and go as they please (to do their business) without us accompanying them. I've been taking my little JRT ever since because I don't want to lose him. Thanks! Pat

Posted by pw, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:51 am

I live in Marin and see coyotes all the time up in the headlands - I'm up there almost every week. Recently I noticed a large coyote-like animal with silver/grey and dark fur - I believe this could have been a wolf. Coyotes in Marin are very bold and will sit down on the side of the trail and ignore humans - even as close as 10-20 feet away. However this animal was more nervous, and quite a bit larger than the biggest coyote I've seen. I keep searching for any local wolf sighting news on the internet, but have yet to find anything definitive. I suppose it could have been a wolf-mix pet that was lost...

Posted by Pat, a resident of West of Foothill
on Dec 17, 2009 at 11:21 pm

PW, your description of what I saw in my backyard is exactly to what you're describing. My beast was more like a wolf than coyote -- perhaps it was a coyote in wolf's clothes? lolo Well I've not seen it since and have never ever seen a coyote or heard them here.

When I lived in SoCal, I saw them all the time running around the residential neighborhoods in Pasadena. Have seen one since.

My property backs up against a regional forest area -- our hill is about 1200 ft and we live at 800 ft. Over the hill there is wilderness perhaps with some hiking trails (google elevations shows this), in any event, if we do have coyotes, I think that they prefer prey further up where there are no homes and where there are probably plenty of deer, rodents, etc. Lucky for us!

Your thoughts!!

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