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Menlo Park resident spots two mountain lions near SLAC

STANFORD - Stanford police are advising campus residents to use caution in the foothills after a Menlo Park resident spotted two mountain lions chasing deer at about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, in a field near the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Sally Halstead-Harsch said she was watching through binoculars as about six deer grazed in the field between SLAC and the Buck Estate, across from the balcony of her Sharon Park Drive condominium, when two mountain lions charged out of the brush and began chasing a buck. The herd scattered and the cats disappeared behind some buildings on the property near Sand Hill Road.

“It doesn't surprise me, particularly with the rain we've been having,” said Stanford Police Captain Raoul Niemeyer. “The lions have probably been holed up for a while and haven't been able to feed. What's interesting is that there were two of them working together.”

Niemeyer advises people not to jog alone in the foothills. If they are confronted with a mountain lion, he says, they should make themselves look as big as possible and try to frighten the animal away. The university is a game preserve and the cats themselves are protected, he added.

This is the second reported mountain lion spotting on campus this academic year. Last September, a Palo Alto police officer spotted one of the cats sauntering near the campus driving range and Junipero Serra Boulevard.

Anyone who sees one of the big cats should contact the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office or the Palo Alto Police by calling 911 (on campus 9-911).



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