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Dog chases mountain lion up tree

Dogs never seem to shed their instinctual pursuit of cats. Even if that feline is actually a 120-pound mountain lion.

A Los Altos Hills resident’s approximately 80-pound German Shepherd chased the cat up a tree on his property Feb. 21, according to the town’s public safety officer. While officials from the state’s Department of Fish and Game and Santa Clara County Sheriffs deputies responded, the cat posed no danger and eventually fled.

The incident occurred near the corner of Elena and La Barranca roads.

No one – human, canine or feline – was injured.

“The Department of Fish and Game looked at the animal, said it looks healthy, didn’t look peculiar, nothing out of the ordinary,” said Lt. Don Morrissey of the county sheriffs office.

According to early reports from NBC, the homeowner captured the whole incident on film.

Janet Shannon, Los Altos Hills Public Safety Officer, said recent sightings and incidents, including an early February incident in which a suspected mountain lion killed two pet goats on a private residence near Hidden Villa, have made people “a bit nervous” and have led to an uptick in reported sightings.

“People get worked up,” she said. “I don’t think there are necessarily more (mountain lions) around. … The bad thing is if people get worked up about it, somebody will take action.

“Mountain lions are doing exactly what they do – they’re not aggressive, they’re not coming after anybody,” she said.

That’s not to say that the cats are never hostile. If a deputy or fish and game official determines that the animal poses a threat to public safety, he or she could kill it.

“Obviously we want to take every precaution and do what’s right but it’s just kind of hard with those big cats,” Morrissey said.

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