Rancho San Antonio open after mountain lions withdraw

Rangers advise public to keep an eye out for mountain lion and her three cubs living in or near the popular open space preserve in Los Altos Hills

All trails at Rancho San Antonio are open, but visitors are advised to keep an eye out for mountain lions and report any sightings to rangers.

The popular open space preserve fully reopened to the public on Aug. 29 after nearly a week of closures caused by mountain lion activity in the area.

A mountain lion and her three adolescent cubs were believed to be living in or near the preserve, according to Leigh Ann Gessner, public affairs specialist with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Leading up to the closures, preserve visitors made repeated sightings of the animals, who exhibited an apparent lack of fear toward humans.

Midpeninsula biologists and officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife monitored the situation and attempted to draw the lions away from the preserve.

According to Gessner, the mountain lions moved to less-used areas of Rancho San Antonio of their own volition, prompting district officials to halt the operation and reopen the park.

Gessner said that depending on the lions’ behavior, trails could be closed again in the near future. Gessner advised visitors to remain vigilant and report any sightings to park rangers by calling 650-691-2165.

Visitors to the preserve who encounter wildlife should not run away. Instead, slowly back away, while try to appear as large as possible and make loud noises to scare the animals, Gessner said.

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3 people like this
Posted by John V
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 2:30 pm

The mother and 2 cubs were spotted yesterday morning at Fremont Older on Coyote Ridge. A runner tried to “shoo” them away thinking they were bobcats, but they ignored the runner. Based on the size description from my friend who was there and saw them, even the juveniles were way bigger than a full grown bobcat.

Like this comment
Posted by Clarify?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Where is Fremont Older on Coyote Ridge? Is that part of Rancho San Antonio park? i.e. can that area be accessed from the Rancho trails?

15 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Hey, let's have an open space preserve but not allow any moutain lions. Great idea.

5 people like this
Posted by Actually
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm

@Reader, C'mon. They didn't rid the park of lions or even try to. They targeted and moved 3 PROBLEMATIC lions who were too accustomed to human contact out of the very popular area due to numerous and increasing encounters with visitors.
There are still plenty of lions roaming the Rancho hills this very day, but they are the ones who are acting as wild lions and generally avoiding humans.

When rangers move problematic bears out of Yosemite campgrounds, they're not ridding the park of bears! LOL!

2 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

Those mountain lions are a defining feature of the hills here. A well-known foothill town on the way to Santa Cruz (Highway 17 goes through it) is even named for them, a place name first applied by early Spanish settlers because, as a 1935 book on California records, the local hills had long been "infested by mountain lions and wildcats." By the time of the book's publication in 1935, those cats were less numerous, "though the hunter may still come upon them in the higher range." These days there's not much hunting any more around the Open Space Preserves, but you can still encounter wild cats, as we've seen.

2 people like this
Posted by Lyon
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Is the PGE trail open too?
Why don’t they just post signs saying “No Mountain Lions allowed unless on leash”? Lol

Like this comment
Posted by Lyin'
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm

"Infested with mountain lions and wiodlcats"
I just love that.

85 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm

I like Mountain Lions way more than Spartans. Change the MVHS mascot to Mountain Lions. And do it before this next Friday the 13th when MV meets LA in varsity football under the temporary lights at MVHS. Mountain Lions will always prevail over Eagles if they stay on the ground. In the air, Eagles could win. That is football talk.

7 people like this
Posted by residents
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 7, 2019 at 6:04 am

residents is a registered user.

Mountain Lions are an important part of a healthy environment. If they are removed, there will be problems too numerous to describe here.
Give them space and respect them.

Like this comment
Posted by kcg
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2019 at 10:08 am

it is exciting to see mountain lions, but its just a matter of when, not if, there will be an attack(s) on humans around here in the MROSD parks. with the increasing spottings, its inevitable. this does not mean they should be removed, but the danger of having them around us should not be discounted, we get habituated to their presence and read things like runners "shooing them away." this is playing with fire, they are loaded guns (please insert your favorite metaphor..).

Like this comment
Posted by Where?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2019 at 1:41 pm

It would be nice if they posted what they actually did and where they drove the lions off to, or at least where they suspect they were driven off to.

Too much mystery surrounds MidPens actions, though I don't think they did anything wrong other than mis-manage the final communication.

A summary write up with details would be great

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