Mountain Lion on the Loose in San Francisco Spotted on Doorbell Camera

A mountain lion was captured on a Ring doorbell camera and spotted in two San Francisco, California, neighborhoods on Tuesday morning.

Residents in the Portola and Bernal Heights neighborhoods contacted San Francisco Animal Care & Control to report seeing the animal, which was also spotted walking through Bernal Heights Park.

Neither of the residents reported the animal exhibiting aggressive behavior, but flyers were put up in the park warning of the sighting, with Animal Care and Control advising people in the area to remain cautious.

After speaking to the residents who had reported seeing the mountain lion, officers from the agency viewed footage caught by a Ring doorbell camera, which showed the animal sniffing the floor before leaving the area and heading towards Interstate 280.

The officers watching the footage noticed that the animal was wearing a collar in the video and contacted the Department of Fish and Wildlife for help, the agency confirmed to CBS San Francisco.

The agencies discovered that the lion had been collared by the Puma Project, a conservation organization that tracks wild cats in the San Francisco area.

The Puma Project told the agency that the collar's last location was near the Bernal Heights neighborhood, where it had been spotted by a local resident.

Animal Care and Control told CBS San Francisco that the mountain lion was probably lost and that it has already traveled back to its home.

"If he is still in the city, he's probably scared, hunkered down somewhere waiting for it to get dark so he can leave," said agency Executive Director Virginia Donohue.

Mountain lion sightings in San Francisco are common. California Fish and Wildlife estimates that there are between 4,000 to 6,000 of them living in California.

Although San Francisco residents have been told to remain cautious amid the sightings, attacks from mountain lions on humans are rare as they prefer to stay away from people.

California Fish and Wildlife's website says that there have "been only 16 verified mountain lion attacks on humans in California since 1890, six of them fatal," with the last attack occurring "in September 2014 in Santa Clara County."

Newsweek has contacted San Francisco Animal Care & Control and the Department of Fish and Wildlife for comment.

Mountain lion San Francisco neighbourhood
The cougar (Puma concolor), also commonly known by other names including catamount, mountain lion, panther and puma is American native animal. A mountain lion was spotted in two San Francisco neighborhoods on Tuesday morning. Karel Bock/iStock / Getty Images Plus