A large wild cat was spotted in the Sebastopol area Saturday
afternoon, the second such sighting in the past couple of days, according to
the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.
Saturday's sighting occurred shortly before 1 p.m., when residents
in the area of Elphick Road and Bollinger Lane reported seeing what they
described as a possible mountain lion in their backyard, according to Lt.
The cat emerged from underneath their deck, crossed their yard to
a shady area and rested there for a few minutes before fleeing.
Based on the description given, officials believe the cat is more
likely to have been a bobcat than a mountain lion.
Bobcats are around twice the size of domestic cats, and while they
feed on small rodents, pets and smaller livestock, they do not usually pose
as much of a threat to people as mountain lions, Shubel said.
Another sighting of a large cat was reported in the same area on
Friday around 1:30 p.m., and residents are advised to be cautious.
Keep a safe distance from large cats encountered in the wild, and
make loud noises to scare them away. Keep domestic pets in secure enclosures
and do not leave pet food outside.
It is rare for a bobcat to attack a human, but if it does, fight
back and call 911 immediately.