UPDATE: “Wild Feline Animal” was Stalking Backyard Chickens in San Anselmo

Twin Cities Police officials said what could have been a mountain lion, bobcat or feral cat was stalking backyard chickens in San Anselmo on Thursday morning. Commenters are making us think this big kitty is no newbie to town.


A San Anselmo resident called the San Anselmo Police Thursday morning after spotting what they thought was a mountain lion in the backyard of their home on the 100 block of Rosemont Avenue.

Twin Cities Police Authority Srgt. Hamid Khalili said the police can’t confirm if it was a mountain lion and are, instead, referring to the critter as “some type of wild feline animal.”

The feline was reportedly stalking backyard chickens when the resident called the police at 8:40 a.m. on Sept. 6. “Then it jumped over the fence and took off,” Khalili said.

He said the feline ran behind Rosemont toward Camino de Herrera.

One officer, who thought they spotted the big cat near the property, said it looked more like a bobcat or a feral cat, Khalili said. 

There haven’t been many mountain lion sightings reported to the police recently in the Ross Valley, but commenters on our Facebook page and on this article make it sound like there has definitely been a big cat around town.

Commenter said below that he’s a neighbor and saw the feline with the officer. “The officer wasn't sure if it was a bobcat or a mountain lion. My own guess is that it was a fairly small mountain lion. We also found the feathers from one very recently killed chicken.”

On our Facebook page, Nathan Shimek said there have been "a lot of [mountain lion] sightings this summer between Bolinas Ridge and Bald Hill."

Christina Bryan Fitzgibbons wrote that the feline sighting might explain the mutilated deer she encountered “on the bridge leading into Brookside off Butterfield last Sunday.”

And Andree Schreiber said the sighting “might explain the missing chickens in Fairfax.” 

 commented below that there have been bobcat sightings in Fairfax and the "little bugger is stealing chickens from houses along the creek."

It seems like Rosemont Avenue gets plenty of press when it comes to wild animals. reminded us that earlier this summer a cat living on the same street survived a coyote attack.

If residents see a mountain lion, or any other wild cat, they should stay inside and close their doors and windows, Khalili said. If the animal is encountered outside, people should make as much noise as possible and make themselves look as big as they can -  stand up tall and wave your arms in the air – to scare the animal away. 

Have you spotted a mountain lion lately? and e-mail Editor Jessica Mullins about it at Jessica.mullins@patch.com

On August 2, someone lying down at the end of Lincoln Park.

In July, in the middle of Mill Valley Reservoir.

Follow us! We told our Facebook and Twitter followers about the mountain lion sighting almost an hour before we posted it as breaking news. 

Top stories on San Anselmo - Fairfax Patch:

chris September 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
BREAKING NEWS!!! There was a raccoon at my house last night. Everybody is OK and there is nobody reported missing.
Michael September 06, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I'm a neighbor and here is an update. One of the officers and I went looking behind the back fence where the big cat had been sighted. We both saw it. The officer wasn't sure if it was a bobcat or a mountain lion. My own guess is that it was a fairly small mountain lion. We also found the feathers from one very recently killed chicken.
Barbara Petty September 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Rosemont Ave is the same street where the cat survived a trip inside a coyote's mouth! Yikes.
McKgirl September 06, 2012 at 09:55 PM
There have been bobcat sightings in Fairfax... little bugger is stealing chickens from houses along the creek.
Traci Dunkel September 06, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Love the raccoon sighting , people have to relies if you are going to live in a suburban area surrounded by open space you are going to encounter wild animals, let them be, they are more afraid you than you it.
vicki September 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM
i live on the boarder of san rafael and san anselmo and we have a very brave bobcat hanging out in the area - my neighbor saw it in my driveway at about 7pm a month ago - and then a couple of times in the bushes during the day across the street. i have 5 chickens - but not sure he/she would be able to navigate the fence enclosure. you would think with all the rats around - there would be plenty for bobcats to eat
Jessica Mullins (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I remember that! Thanks for the reminder, Barbara!
John Ferguson September 07, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Well, everybody loves chicken. It's nice of all the people that keep backyard chickens to provide such a tasty treat for our wild neighbors. If you had a choice between an easily found rat or two or a slightly harder to get chicken, which would you choose for dinner?
Gina September 07, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I feel sorry for these majestic creatures needing to come down town... i understand raising chickens as pets, but feel great unending sadness at losing my beloved 2 dogs (one of which we raised for 8 years from a 10 week old puppy) because they got loose and killed chickens at a home downtown.
helen psaila September 07, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Am in Woodacre - and lost all 16 chickens last spring, one by one, to Bobcat, even in broad daylight. Now we have an entirely enclosed "yard", and we found (twice!) a bobcat/mountain lion spraddled over the top enclosed area trying to break through to take them on!
Alex Horvath September 07, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I'm voting on Bobcat. More native to the area than Mountain Lions. Besides, it's 4:30 a.m. and I just put a Wild Feline Animal in the garage after he jumped on my stomach while I was sleeping...
Miyoko Schinner September 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Definitely not a newbie. This sly bobcat has gotten several of my chickens. We've seen him/her, and even chased her up the hill on the open space behind our house. I have also seen a juvenile mountain lion right outside my yard.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Thank you, everyone, for all these comments. It's great to be able to piece together everyone's wild cat stories. If y'all have any pictures of a bobcat or mountain lion, please upload them to this article. Click on the green "upload photos and videos" button underneath our generic mountain lion picture.
DMiller September 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I am a 20 yr resident of San Anselmo's Oak Springs Drive area and there have been Mtn Lion (not so much Bibcat) sightings by several different hikers and residents over the years. This latest report is not worthy of being called news; it is common knowledge that Marinites live with coyotes and Mtn lions and one reason is that their favorite food is abundant: deer and small animals, including cats and chickens. The other reason they are still around is that no one has recently (that I know of) trapped or killed the big felines or canines--let's please keep it that way! Educate us in the news but please don't create undue alarm by calling the cops. I second the sarcarcastic comment: YIKES, RACCOONS IN MY GARDEN!! DIAL 911!!
A September 07, 2012 at 03:59 PM
In Ross, I know someone who kept chickens and used to (mistakenly) blame the neighbors dog for killing them. I discovered that it was raccoons that were doing it. Sometimes dogs get blamed by mistake because they are the most visible animal. I agree with the folks who said this didn't warrant a "breaking news alert." The Richmond Refinery fire...now that's a breaking news alert. If alerts are over used, people will start ignoring them so use sparingly, please.
Carol X September 07, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Please don't call 911 just because you spotted a wild animal. They're likely to shoot first and ask questions later. Keeping your animals secured and scaring predators away should be all that's necessary. And I would like to ask, what are the "twin cities" referred to in the subhead? I though Twin Cities in this area meant Larkspur-Corte Madera.
Michael September 07, 2012 at 09:39 PM
As a resident of Rosemont Avenue, I was very happy this was a "breaking news alert." I was at home at the time, and my wife called me about 15 minutes after the mountain lion was first sighted. At this point the lion was still behind my neighbor's back fence. I know because I went up there with a San Anselmo police officer and saw it, (as I said in my comment above.) But if I had not already known about the animal, I would very much want to be notified, so I could, for example, bring my kids playing in the backyard inside.
Rebekah Collins September 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I have raised chickens for years. We have learned through trial and error what must be done to keep them safe - ie chickens eaten= OUR fault. Our goal is to learn to live in harmony with the natural world and be regenerative - not recreate " how the west was won "
Jessica Mullins (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Hi Carol, the San Anselmo Police Department is working toward completely consolidating the department with the Twin Cities Police Department. The acting sergeant who was overseeing San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera on Thursday was with the Twin Cities department, so that's why I interviewed him. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear in the article. Here's something we had earlier this year about the consolidation: http://sananselmofairfax.patch.com/articles/san-anselmo-twin-cities-police-facing-big-year
Rebekah Collins September 07, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I am concerned that a lot of people think bob cats( very common ) Mountain Lions (very rare ) and freak out . Not to minimize that occasionally wild cats are problems but for perspective sake: in 2011 in the entire US and Canada there were - 4 Injury Reports, 3 Non-injury Reports, 1 Pet Report, 1 Defensive Injury Incident.
Ashley September 10, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I also saw a bobcat about a month ago. It was about 9 in the morning on Tamalpais Road. It ate a few of my neighbor's chickens.
myka September 11, 2012 at 08:23 AM
my wife was jogging on yolanda trail where a big mountain lion stopped her and watched her for 5 minutes. the mountain lion was running down the hill and stopped on the trail. she had to turn around and go back around mount baldy
myka September 11, 2012 at 08:25 AM
this happened in on a saturday evening in july 2012 around 530pm
fairfax gary September 13, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I think its our responsibility to protect our chickens with wire and mesh and then the cats will eat deer and we won't have to panic and do stupid things...like shoot,trap, or relocate them which is un ethical cruel and illegal.
fairfax gary September 13, 2012 at 08:22 PM
100% agree carol! They were here first and we need to be smart about protecting our chickens, pets etc and problem goes away.


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