Possible Mountain Lion Sighting in Shell Ridge Open Space

January 19, 2014 10:28 am · 40 comments

Claycordians, this note came from a mountain biker in Walnut Creek’s Shell Ridge Open Space.

Just a shout out to people in the area to be on the lookout for a possible mountain lion in the Shell Ridge Open Space area off of the Sutherland Dr. Trailhead in Walnut Creek. Encountered it on Saturday morning during a mountain bike ride.

Beautiful creature and it was retreating into the higher hills.

Thanks for the note.

We do have mountain lions in our area, so if you encounter one, make a lot of noise, and make yourself look as large as possible.

JLG January 19, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Yes I used to run into a young mountain lion on my mountain bike every once in awhile coming out of a ravine and crossing a fire road about the same time in the morning behind the golf course on Lime ridge. I have not seen it for a while. In the 30 years I have been on the Mountain and its ridges I have only had five sightings. You were very lucky to see that creature.

Shasta Daisy January 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I haven’t hiked at Shell Ridge lately.
Thanks for the heads up.

I always say I’d like to see a mountain lion but I think I’m happy with just seeing a bobcat.

Well... January 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Oh! I would to see one in its natural setting.

Anonymous January 19, 2014 at 11:17 AM

This is a dangerous predator. They are mignificant killing machines. Since hunting was outlawed in California they have killed and eaten three women.

AP January 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

#4, stay inside and make sure to lock your doors…

Silva January 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I’ve never had the pleasure of seing a real puma. Such a gorgeous creature!! Someone’ll probably shoot it.

Anon January 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

This is amazing to me. If we had a human walking around quite willing to kill and eat pets and children, people would demand something be done and now. Lions should not be around people. They should be in the wild lands slaughtering a deer a week, which is what a normal lion does.The fact that he is so close to people is an indicator he is sick or starving. And he will eat.

Grand Mal January 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

#8, Actually, the people are walking and riding noisy things through the LIONS’ territories, where they are trying very hard to do “what is normal” for them. But during the coming drought summer, we might be in for serious wild animal problems down in our neighborhoods

Just saying January 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Since the fire, more animals pushed to this side of the mountain.

Chris hanson January 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The day the diablo fire started I ran into a lion on the shell ridge loop trail right above the grassy park at castle rock.

Anon January 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM

@grand mal I guess you could argue forever whose territory it is but here is a fact: healthy mountain lions stay well away from people. Starving lions , like the one that ate the woman after we banned lion hunting, will move into inhabited territory. The lion that eviscerated and ate the first (of three )woman weighed only 78 pounds.

This lion being around people ain’t good. Hope someone doesn’t loose a child.

But they are beautiful.

silva January 19, 2014 at 2:12 PM

As a small child the first thing I remember hearing on the radio is when the very last bear was shot and killed on Grizzley Peak. Although controversial even then (1950’s) I think I get that it had become necessary. Why in the world would anyone think that it would be okay to strip Mt. Diablo of every last living native wildcat is beyond me. But It’ll probably happen.

sam January 19, 2014 at 3:22 PM

There will always be a contingent of humans, that will be forever, “just itching”, to go kill something, not for food, just for the thrill of killing something, makes them feel momentarily powerful, in some futile attempt, to deminish, some deep seeded, emotional insecurity issues within themselves; with our cognitive intelligence, we should all strive to elevate ourselves, to ever higher levels of consiousness; the human species is inherently endowed with great powers of creative ingenuity, let us steadfastly employ, whatever feasible measures available, to save lives.

sam January 19, 2014 at 3:25 PM

“to save lives”, of course the lives of humans, inclusive our wildlife friends.

custer January 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

@Anon #8. We have encroached on their
habitat … not the other way around! We
need to keep out of their way … not
vise versa! You may not know it, but these
weren’t always the suburbs.

WC Resident January 19, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I ride my bike all over the place and have never seen a mountain lion. I would like to see one. I heard they are coming down in the burbs to eat due to the drought. They are eating people’s pets. Hope that will not happen around here.

Rick January 19, 2014 at 6:17 PM

@ WC Resident—17

I live in WC too. Why would you want to see a mountain lions knowing they eat people’s pets?

Keep them the heck away from my yard.

Here Kitty Kitty January 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

If you’re so worried about kids, pets, yourselves, you could always head to the local pet store and pick up some nice fluffy bunnies and release them up higher on the hill. This might be the only way to keep them from looking in your backyard, which, you built on THEIR home.

WC Residents January 19, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Rick: I mean I would like to see a mountain lion far away from the suburbs. I would like to have a lot of space between me and the lion!!
No I do not want to see one close to houses where they can eat our pets!!
I did hear that the mountain lions are coming closer to us do to lack of water. So that would be very scary.

Old Sam January 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I’ll bring the wife along on my hike. She already IS as large as possible.

Anonymous January 19, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Sam – let’s do a little proof reading before we post. Also how about if we reintroduce the CA state animal – the Grizzly Bear? Think that would be a good idea? You can wax about hunting and get yourself all worked up psychoanalyzing hunters , but if you run into an apex predator you may wish you were heavily armed.

This lion is acting abnormally and may well kill a pet or a child or even a human, three of which have been eaten in California in the last 25 years. Lions don’t necessarily kill first , they may eviscerate the prey animal and eat them alive. Deer or people ,makes no difference.

Cowellian January 19, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Proofreading is one word. You may want to try a little of it yourself.

Someone else's large wife January 20, 2014 at 2:51 AM

Funny joke Sam. I got it and appreciated it. 🙂

LitlleWing January 20, 2014 at 4:48 AM

Sam: Don’t listen to the haters. And don’t ever change. You are golden just the way you are. 🙂

Here Kitty Kittty: Great idea with the bunnies, really.

Everyone keep in mind it is not just the cats who are coming closer but all wildlife. Between the recent Morgan Territory fire and the continuing drought more and more wildlife have less and less territory to roam and less options for food and water.

Those who live off crow canyon on your pretty little golf course…be advised the big cats are already drinking from your pond and making off with your waterfoul under the cover of darkness.

Anonymous January 20, 2014 at 6:53 AM

You are right . It is one word and you are now on the list. Don’t make any mistakes, pal

The Professor January 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

It’s not the mountain lion that you see that is the threat. It’s the one that you don’t see.

Beautiful, yet dangerous animals.

Some facts January 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

1994 two separate attacks in California . Two women killed and eaten.
2004 Man killed and eaten in California.

The folks that hope to see the lion better hope it’s not the last thing they see.

Walnut Creek Resident January 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

What a way to go..Getting eaten up. I think I will forget the idea of how neat it would be to see or not to see a mountain lion… Yipes. I did think that one of those air horns would be wise to carry and the sound of it would scare them.

anonymous January 20, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I live between downtown Walnut Creek and Shell Ridge. This time of year the deer population, which mostly lives and breeds in our yards, is somewhere else. I assume they go back into the open space. My fear is that when the deer come back to my street in the summer, a mountain lion will come with them. I mean I would if I were a mountain lion.

Silva January 20, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Just keep your pets indoors, like you would anyway if you actually cared about them. There are also plenty of stories of preditory birds snatching domestic pets. You guys moved into their territory. They gotta make a living just like you do. We’re not the only species that counts.

Julie January 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM

@ Silva—34

You can keep your cats indoors (we do) but dogs are kept outside. Big dogs anyway. Big dogs need a yard!

Silva January 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

@Julie @35; That’s a very good point, but hopefully they sleep inside at night. A lion would have to have a real problem to consider trying to take a large dog anyway. I really don’t think this is a cause for undue worry. I’ve been around these parts an awful long time, and have never seen one. They generally steer clear of us, we aren’t on their menu.

sam January 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Differing perspectives always makes for a good debate; in our complex we capture and neuter the feral cats, to effectively controle their numbers; a few of the residents, take it upon themselves to feed, maintain their general health and well being, this way, we are not having to see our homeless, wildlife friends suffer needlessly, from hunger and/or continuing to reproduce, making more homeless babies; this same procedure can be implemented to controle the number of pumas/cougers, please make no mistake, pumas/cougers are not “lions”, lions are, now, I am just taking this “off the top of my head”, what, triple, quadruple the size of a couger/puma? If I lived on the fringes of these wildlife areas, as some of you, to assure the protection of my pet(s), I would erect a strong and large enough, outdoor enclosure, impenetrable by any indiginous, wildlife species.

Cowellian January 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Everyone makes typos. Making typos while correcting someone’s grammar can be a source of great amusement for other people. I’m just glad that’s never happened to me (well, not lately).

Anonymous January 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Oh nevermind , this is hopeless, we are talking past each other.

David January 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Anonymous. Please save the hyperbole from the rest of the readers. I have come face to face with a mountan lion and he/she ran away from me because they are scared of me. The Three JOGGERS have were killed triggered their hunting instincts to chase down prey. I am sorry that you live in a world that you need “safe” from predatory animals when it is well known that Humans are the Apex predator and other animal such as the Grizzly Bear as you mentioned are more afraid of us only because they know we can kill them which has been ingrained into their DNA since we walked upright and walked across a land bridge to get to the North American continent. The Statisics of THREE people verses 45,000 people killed by homicides over a TWENTY YEAR period time PALE in comparison to the THREE people killed by jogging in THEIR habitat. I can’t feel sorry for you as you are not alone in your thinking which doesn’t make it right or wrong just someone who is blindly led by the manipulation of sensationalized press and other hyped up media methods. Just remember this Mountain lions kill to live ONLY. They are not after you unless you start jogging in Shell Ridge so don’t.

Silva January 21, 2014 at 8:21 AM

YEAH !!!

Mom of the Horde January 21, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Lovely. One of my kids goes to a school where all that separates it from the Open Space is a chain link fence… a place where a lot of folks come and walk their dogs off leash. Lovely.

Dr. Jellyfinger January 21, 2014 at 10:00 PM

A full grown male mountain lion typically weighs between 115 – 220 lbs. Zowie! I didn’t know they got that big. If I were you Mom, I’d get some lion proof clothing for the offsprings. Here’s a link & video a friend took for me when we visited India. I would have been there too when the tiger attacked but I didn’t have exact change to ride the elephant.


Enfield303 January 21, 2014 at 10:23 PM

@Dr. Jellyfinger

Yeeoow, Looks like Harry Potters magic wand doesn’t work too good on tigers.

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