In May this year I posted a blog about a big black cat sighting near the Alviso Adobe Community Park along Foothill Road in Pleasanton. Since that sighting there have been several reported sightings of mountain lion and another big black cat sighting.
I believe every mountain lion sighting to be true because the witnesses are credible. The sightings have been reported by women hiking on the ridge and women enjoying an evening walk through the neighborhood. I personally have examined the tracks of mountain lion and bob cat on the ridge.
The big black cat sightings have been by a women at the Alviso Adobe Community park with her infant daughter and a women stuck in traffic on Foothill Road and happened to look over into the ridge area, her description tends to fit a big black cat.
There are reported big black cat sightings that date back into the 1990's, near I-580 and foothill Road and along Foothill Road from I-580 to the Castlewood Sunol area. There have also been reports of big black cats near I-680 in the castlewood Sunol area.
There is a published report in the Chronical years ago about an exotic cat being released from a private owner. That, along with numerous rumors following a rash of big black cat sightings in the east bay, there is a certain intrigue.
Two big black cat sightings in six months in the same general area and several mountain lion sightings within weeks of each sighting also in the same general area certainly adds to the intrigue and mythogenesis of the regions wild feline.
The sightings of two big black cats, in part, may be because of a genetic condition called melatinistic coloration with the mountain lion. Melatinistic coloration is due to a gene mutation, it turns the hide or coat of the mountian lion to a shade of red or darker color, giving the appearance of being black.
In varying levels of sunlight in the right conditions, with the brush and tall grass, a mountain lion with melatinistic coloration condition may appear to be black, especially from a distance.
It certainly is conceivable this may be the situation with the reported big black cat sightings in Pleasanton. Those big black cat sightings are actually California mountain lion. More than half of California is mountain lion habitat. Mountain lion generally exist where deer are found.
Mountain lion are solitary and elusive, and their nature is to avoid humans. Mountain lions prefer deer but, if allowed they also eat pets and livestock. In extremely rare cases even people have fallen prey to mountain lion.
Mountain lions that threaten people are immediately killed. Those that prey on pets or livestock can be killed by a property owner after the required depredation permit is secured.
Moving mountain lion is not an option. It causes deadly conflict with other lion. Or the relocated lion returns. Mountain lions are on the move during dawn, dusk and at night. It is rare they move during the day.
The two big black cat sightings along the Foothill Road area reported by two different women may be the same animal. I encourage everyone sighting a mountain lion to call the police, report its location. They will check it out.
In Florida they bred and raise panther tigers. Huricane Sandy destuction caused the release of panther kittens. The kitterns had been fitted with radio collars which enabled their rescue. I have posted their rescue pictures with this blog.