This past Easter Sunday, before the festive egg hunts and Easter baskets, in the inky black of early morning, a Redwood Valley family’s game camera caught the unmistakable image of a cougar slinking through their front yard.
The resident, who described her home along Redwood Valley’s West Road as “past the railroad tracks”, said the image was captured around one in the morning as the family slept soundly. She estimated the mountain lion was approximately 20-30 feet from her front door when the camera captured its figure against the dark night.
Knowing the cougar was mere feet from their sleepy sanctuary, the resident (who asked to remain unnamed) told us “it was a little creepy for sure.”
Her daughters have 4-H pigs on top of the family’s goats, chickens, and outdoor cats. “I’m hoping it is not here stalking them,” she remarked.
When asked if she would be doing anything different knowing the cougar was in their midst, the resident told us she would be “more aware of what’s going on outside” and not let “my girls go out alone to feed the animals.”
For Mendocino County residents that experience a concerning human-wildlife contact, Tom Batter, a biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife assigned to Mendocino County, encourages them to complete the Fish and Wildlife’s Incident Reporting Tool.
Batter also pointed toward Fish and Wildlife’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Toolkit which offers the public essential information about the various wildlife one could encounter, CDFW’s goals in managing that wildlife, and strategies to mitigate conflict.