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Mountain lion tracked deep into Tiburon

Satellite-tracked mountain lion P36 spent two days in Tiburon April 12-14, with the tracked locations shown as dots then linked by rough directional paths. The red paths are part of Living with Lions project’s original tracking map before the cougar left town, with The Ark’s magenta overlay showing the remaining positions based on later project data. (Living with Lions Project & The Ark)

Juvenile male mountain lion P36 is seen last month while being recaptured to replace his GPS-tracking collar for the Living with Lions project. (Quinton Martins / True Wild)

Lore of mountain-lion sightings surface every few years on the Tiburon Peninsula, with descriptions of big cats “larger than a large dog” accompanied by grainy photos as conclusive as footage of Bigfoot and UFOs.

Residents and wildlife experts alike have historically expressed skepticism an animal of such size could cross Highway 101 and through residential areas to make it down to the Ring Mountain and Old St. Hilary’s open spaces without at least being spotted elsewhere first.

But last week, trackers with the Living with Lions project say a GPS-collared young male did just that, taking an extended tour of the peninsula and making it as far as the southern tip of the Martha property before heading back to Mill Valley.

“Between 1 and 3 in the morning (April 12), he crosses Highway 101 and then walks all the way down to the bottom of the peninsula,” wildlife ecologist and project director Quinton Martins said of the cat, dubbed P36. “(He) left between 9 and 11 p.m. on the 14th, so spent over two days there.”

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