Dry Weather Could Push More Mountain Lions Into Bay Area Neighborhoods

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    Phil Gomez
    File photo of a mountain lion attempting to get out of the aqueduct off Ocean Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.

    A lack of rain could be bringing mountain lions and other wild animals into Bay Area neighborhoods.

    Wildlife officials say the dry weather is driving thirsty animals closer to cities. It's already an issue in Southern California.

    Mountain Lion Captured While Roaming SoCal Suburb

    [LA] Mountain Lion Captured While Roaming SoCal Suburb
    Just a few hours after the Department of Fish and Wildlife held a community meeting to warn La Crescenta residents about mountain lions, authorities had to dart and capture one in La Verne. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (Published Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014)

    And, soon, people in Northern California will likely start to see more mountain lions and bears. Even deer can become aggressive if they become thirsty and desperate.

    “They need to eat, and they need to drink water as much as we do,” said California Fish and Wildlife’s Andrew Hughnan. “So what happens is, when they can't find a natural stream, they’re going to go to where the water is, which is often in people's backyards.”

    MORE: Wild Creatures Appear in Downtown SF

    Wildlife officials say, as tempting as it is to set out water for thirsty animals, it's dangerous and they advise against doing it.