Wildlife Feed

Shark Spooks Surfers @ Linda Mar Beach


Mark Macias photos

Because of shark activity close to surfers at Linda Mar Beach on July 24, I stayed on the beach at the far south corner of the cove. At 11:35 a.m. all 75 surfers who were in the water at the boat docks quickly exited onto the sand and then slowly made their way back to their cars. A few of the senior surfers shouted at others still in the water by the creek mouth to get out. About 10 people weren't aware or weren't listening, so the surfers persisted until the water was clear from the boat docks to the creek mouth. A few minutes later I spoke to a surfer who saw the thing firsthand. (See carcass photos above.) He said a shark took the head off a harbor seal just outside the lineup. He saw the chomp and the blood. From the beach I could see the seal's body floating outside the lineup. A second harbor seal was seen hanging out closer to shore. A police officer appeared and took the incident report from one of the surfers who saw the attack on the seal. Someone said the shark may come back later to finish eating the carcass. I set my timer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, seabirds flocked to the carcass and a few kayakers who had been looking at the humpback feeding in the middle of the beach came by to get a closer look. The shark didn't return to the carcass. I suited up and surfed at mid-beach in the afternoon and didn't see the shark, but I saw a very small porpoise and humpback whales. I spoke with other surfers in the water and we shared shark stories. One guy said he saw the huge belly of a great white on Father's Day of this year when it breached fully out of the water far outside the lineup at Linda Mar. Many shark sightings don't make it to the news.

Aimee Luthringer

Protect Sanderlings: Leash Your Dog @ Beach

Sanderlings pictured at Pacifica State Beach (above) have just arrived from the Arctic tundra, where they breed during the summer. Desperately tired and hungry after their 2,000-mile journey, they settle on the sand and follow the waves in and out, digging for sand crabs that make up most of their diet. Any off-leash dog chasing them relentlessly, as did this husky mix on a recent Friday afternoon, cuts down on their chances for survival. To help reverse the serious decline in shorebird populations, we humans can extend our seasonal goodwill to all species sharing the beach with us and let them rest and feed in peace.

Margaret Goodale




Mountain Lion Alert @ El Granada

A mountain lion was reported 100 feet from the 1000 block of San Carlos Avenue in El Granada. The animal was seen December 23 at approximately 5:20 p.m. in open space, but it retreated toward a more rural area. Sheriff's deputies responded and conducted an area check but were unable to locate the animal. Use caution. Here are some important safety tips for you to remember regarding mountain lions. While it would be rare for a mountain lion to approach humans, you can follow a few simple rules to keep yourself and your family safe:

• Do not feed deer. It is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.

• If you see a mountain lion, DO NOT APPROACH IT, especially one that is feeding or with offspring. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation.

• Avoid hiking or jogging through wooded areas when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, or at night.

• Keep a close watch on small children when hiking or traveling in or about wooded areas.

• If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms and opening your jacket wide; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.

• Keep all pets and pet food INDOORS at night. Even the largest domesticated dogs and cats can be prey for a mountain lion.

• For more information about mountain lions: www.keepmewild.org