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Cops Warn Public About Mountain Lion Caught On Camera — Then Realize The Hilarious Truth

Image shows a cat thought to be a mountain lion walking along a fence.

A resident sent a photo from their Ring camera to the South San Francisco Police Department. They initially thought the video depicted a mountain lion, a big cat that can occasionally wander into residential areas. Worried about the safety of their residents, the SSFPD posted the photo on Facebook. They included a general warning about the sighting and tips to avoid negative interactions with the wild animal.

The comments got brutal pretty quickly, with residents setting the SSFPD straight. One resident mentioned the size of the fence slats visible in the picture. The slats are approximately 1 inch by 6 inches. The cat barely stretches four slats long, so it probably measures only around 20 to 24 inches long.

Image shows a brief conversation from Facebook pointing out the difference between a mountain lion and a house cat. The discussion occurred on the SSFPD Facebook page.
Image from Facebook.

The not-a-mountain-lion cat appears to be walking along one of the horizontal supports, typically constructed using 2″ by 4″ studs. The size of a mountain lion’s murder mittens would make it look precariously perched on the support beam rather than casually strolling along.

The Verdict Is In — Not A Mountain Lion

After the brutal roasting they took on Facebook, the SSFPD amended their post to add, “***UPDATE. We were able to confirm the Big Cat was not a mountain lion. Out of an abundance of caution we wanted to share some tips on what to do if you do encounter one of these guys, or any wildlife, in your neighborhood. We are happy to report there is no potential threat for the neighborhood.”

Images shows a comparison between the large house cat and a real mountain lion.
Images from Facebook and Pexels.

No residents were in danger. Turns out the mountain lion was nothing more than a large house cat. Not ready to back down entirely, the SSFPD repeated the general warning about interacting with wild animals. We commend them for owning their error and the delicate attempt at recovery from the fallout. We hope the residents go easy on them. It is better to be safe and embarrassed than skip the warning and have a resident hurt. There is also much less paperwork involved in correcting a Facebook post.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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