Mountain Lion at the Oceano Dunes?

March 14, 2011

Local photographer Amy Joseph was capturing images of the Oceano Dunes on Saturday afternoon when she took a few photos of what she thought was a stray horse. To her surprise, zoom images appear to show a mountain lion running along the dunes.

In the past, rangers have noted lion tracks in the sand, primarily in the area between West Grand Avenue and Pier Avenue.

The Central Coast is recognized as mountain lion habitat.

Mountain lions are quiet, solitary and elusive and typically avoid people.

California Department of Fish and Game safety tips:

* Do not hike, bike or jog alone.
* Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk and at night.
* Keep a close watch on small children.
* Do not approach a mountain lion.
* If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
* If attacked, fight back.
* If a mountain lion attacks a person,
immediately call 911.

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There most definitely are mountain lions in the Oceano Dunes. And YES, there have been sitings from people who live right there. The head on this Lion does look bigger than a typical mountain lion, but it is a poor photo of it (sorry to photographer, not your fault) since the lion is so far away. This is not a horse or a dog. I ride my horse often in the dunes and always keep a close eye out for the Lion that lives there. Ask at Pacific Dunes RV Ranch, they’ll confirm sitings. There are plenty of deer (I’ve seen them with my own eyes), coyotes, etc.that call the dunes home. Loads of critters for one lion to eat. Always respect nature and care for their home. Be wise and aware when hiking or visiting any nature preserve or park. I

There is no way that is a mountain lion. The body is too thick, the head is too large, the body and tail are too short.

Either Amy spent 12 minutes on Photoshop and is messing with us or someone is missing their lion. Here kitty kitty kitty!

For the love of god people! Follow up on this!

Hey “TheHeez”. I know the internet is an easy place to attack people anonymously, so this kind of comment is always bound to happen by people like you. Why don’t you spend some of that time you have too much of and do some research before you speak your ignorance. Or, you can sit there behind your computer and rant and rave about things and people you don’t know nor know anything about. I’m sure you’ll pick the latter…

“Many species of animals can be found among the Dunes. Over 200 species of birds live there, such as the western snowy plover, American peregrine falcon, California brown pelican, and California least tern. Other animals also depend on the dunes such as the California red-legged frog, coast garter snake, deer, black bear, bobcats, and mountain lions. Beetles, butterflies, lizards, saltwater and freshwater fish inhabit the dunes as well.”

amy, it’s cool. I wasn’t trying to attack you or the image. It is pretty easy to make a grainy image like this on Photoshop. I doubt this is the case, based on your spirited response.

While I may not have researched the source of the image, I did research the physical characteristics of a mountain lion. The creature in your picture does not fit the description. That’s not an attack on anyone, it’s an observation. More than anything, I’m curious if there is a privately (or illegally) owned lion, that someone is scared to report missing.

I have no doubt all the animals listed inhabit the dunes ecosystem, personally I’ve seen all but the plover and the re-legged frog.

I wonder why the lion was out and about on the dunes? What is out there for them to catch and eat? I thought they preferred wooded or rocky areas where they are less visible?

Hopefully she was using lead free film…

What’s film? LOL

That lion was as big as a horse. It looks more like a lioness than a mountain lion, but what are the chances of that?

Obviously, the mountain lion is unaware it is being harmed by the use of OHVs at the Dunes. Someone should let it know, right away!

The dust is just killing it….