Mountain lion sightings (or suspected sightings) in SLO County are more common than many people may know. More than 100 were reported to local law enforcement agencies in the last few years, though many are unconfirmed.
Hikers see them on Bishop Peak, students report sightings near Cal Poly, and residents around Laguna Lake Golf Course encounter mountain lions.
Public safety call logs gathered by The Tribune show frequent reported sightings near population centers, a pattern that isn’t surprising because people in urban areas are more likely to alert authorities.
“People on large ranches, they don’t even think twice of seeing a mountain lion,” California Fish & Wildlife biologist Bob Stafford said. “When people are in urban areas, it’s more of an anomaly.”
Lions tend to rest during the day and remain elusive. Interactions with humans are rare.
How many lions live in the county and how they use the habitat is unknown. Soon, we'll learn more with research:
Read more in this series: