A large mountain lion sauntered through a sleeping neighborhood west of Atascadero in the early morning hours Friday.
Nearby residents found out because Teresa Zawicki’s security camera caught the large cougar walking through her driveway about 4:20 a.m.
The next morning, Zawicki and her neighbors found the lion’s partially eaten deer kill nearby Monita Road and San Gabriel Road off Highway 41.
It’s common for lions to cache their prey and return to finish the meal later.
“We’ve always known they were here and very elusive. So we don’t allow our dogs outside unless we’re with them,” said Zawicki, who has lived in the house for five years. “When we moved in, neighbors told us there had been mountain lions here occasionally. Last year, some neighbors lost a few pets — cats and smaller dogs — and a llama was attacked and injured, but lived.”
The predator is common in San Luis Obispo County, parts of which are considered prime mountain lion territory.
“I think it’s incredible! They’re amazing, beautiful animals and have my respect,” Zawicki said. “We can share their natural habitat if we just pay attention.”