Fort Bragg resident Kassi Evans has lived on the 100 block of North Sanderson Way for two years with her fiance and two children. Her home is nestled in a residential area of Fort Bragg near Otis R. Johnson Park, her front porch facing a neighborhood street.
The feelings of security, predictability, and comfort that come along with such as home were quickly punctured when a front porch surveillance camera captured a mountain lion on Wednesday night, unfazed by crossing the threshold from wildland to human habitation, slinking its way through the yard, up a set of steps, and onto the front porch replete with a welcome mat, a terra cotta pot, and a wooden bench where one might sit as they admire the summer days.
Evans did not notice the footage of the mountain lion until yesterday afternoon but told us the footage was “absolutely terrifying knowing it was just right there. If I would have opened the door for whatever reason, I would have come face-to-face with it.”
Evans has known the cougars were around since moving onto North Sanderson due to a creek that runs across the street from them. An overhead map of the neighborhood shows a prominent finger of vegetation jutting from the Otis R. Johnson Park following along that creek, making for an ideal wild space for a mountain lion to wander on the edge of human habitation.
Evans will be reaching out to the appropriate authorities tomorrow to report the sighting and get some ideas as to the best ways to secure her family’s safety knowing a mountain lion is becoming so comfortable around their home.
We spoke with Fish and Wildlife biologist Tom Batter earlier this month after a resident of Caspar watched her pet cat be carried away in the jaws of a mountain lion about what homeowners can do to mitigate the presence of these powerful predators on their property. Batter suggested homeowners examine the landscaping and their outdoor space and consider working to “minimize cover and hiding place.” Stalking predators can use crawl spaces, the areas under decks, or in thick vegetation for areas to hide, he explained
Batter emphasized that mountain lions “get a bad rap compared to other species because they are large carnivores.”
“Generally mountain lions’ nature is to avoid humans. Chances are you have been seen by a mountain lion, but you never saw it”, Batter told us.
For any community members out there that might be alarmed at the footage, Evans told them the most important thing is to “be aware of their surroundings, especially at night. No need to be scared, just aware.”