Giant Tracks in Rancho SD Could Signal Mountain Lion's Presence

Giant paw prints, possibly belonging to a full grown mountain lion, have been spotted in Rancho San Diego.

Longtime resident Bob Hutton found the tracks on a dirt path right across the street from his home on Monarch Ridge Circle at Onyx Drive. He immediately sent photographs to the safety committee of the Monarch Ridge Homeowners Association, which has advised residents about the discovery.

NBC 7 sent the photographs to a spokesperson with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, who says there’s a “50-50 chance” they could belong to a mountain lion.

“These were big, like four inch tracks. So my first thought is that it’s a pretty good sized mountain lion,” said Hutton.

It’s not the first time the community has crossed paths with a mountain lion. Longtime residents say a mountain lion was spotted in the community several years ago.

“I personally know someone that stood face to face with a mountain lion on these trails about three years ago,” said JoAnn Cady, Vice President of the HOA.

The tracks were found on a dirt path near a long trail that cuts through a 100-acre wildlife preserve. The HOA has posted signs at the entrance to the trails that advise residents of the paw prints.

Cady said, for now, she’ll steer clear of the trail.

“I walked clear on the other side of the neighborhood. I did the loop over there instead of over here by the trail. So I get a little nervous about these things,” said Cady.

“Just be aware, just pay attention. If you’re out and about on that trail, I don’t think it’s reason for anybody to panic, just be careful,” said Hutton.

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