Mountain Lion Spotted Near 2 Schools in San Mateo

A mountain lion was reported near two schools in San Mateo Thursday morning, but the witness said it did not appear to behave in an aggressive or predatory fashion, according to police.

The sighting was called in at 8:02 a.m. in the vicinity of Fernwood Street and 36th Avenue, officers said.

"An officer pulls up and told me there’s a mountain lion in the area and to be careful, be aware,” said San Mateo resident Lawrence Luttman.

Due to the presence of students nearby, temporary shelter-in-place orders were issued for Abbott Middle School and Hillsdale High School while officers cleared the campuses, but classes continued behind closed doors.

"It was scary because it might jump or something, but we were just glad that we were not outside," said student Angelina Alioto.

Mountain lion sightings are no longer a rare occurrence in the Bay Area, there have been several of them roaming San Mateo in the past weeks, something that doesn't surprise Wildlife Biologist Courtney Coon from the Bay Area Puma Project.

"I think it's a number of things, one, there are a lot of deer in the area, we’re also encroaching in on their habitat quite a bit," she said.

This morning's sighting was never confirmed, according to police.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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