For starters, let us assure you that our mountain lion sightings do not happen during our zipline tours, but rather via nighttime trail cameras placed in the surrounding mountains!
There are an estimated six mountain lions who call our ranch home. They are nocturnal by nature, and the only trace we see during the day is the occasional scat or paw track near some of our reservoirs.
By nighttime, however, these mountain lions can be seen on our trail cameras doing the things that they do: hunting, skulking and even rolling on the ground playfully like a house cat.
Mountain lions are one of the most important apex predators in the surrounding Santa Lucia Mountains. They keep other mammal populations in check—including those that would deplete the native grasses on the ranch. In other words, they play a role in keeping the natural ecosystem in balance.
There are an estimated 30,000 mountain lions in the western United States. In North America, they can be found from British Columbia and southern Alberta to California and Texas. At a full sprint, they can reach 50 miles per hour!
We are in awe of these majestic animals and we enjoy watching them do their thing (from a distance and on video of course!). Mountain lions are yet another reminder of how Santa Margarita Ranch is home to a diverse wildlife population that makes our world go ‘round.