Wildcat spotted in East Sacramento backyard

A woman reported seeing a bobcat or a mountain lion in the backyard of her East Sacramento home on Monday.

The woman made the report to the Sacramento Police Department and to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said police Sgt. Doug Morse. She described the animal as weighing about 50 pounds and covered with black spots, which suggests a bobcat, but the animal may be a mountain lion, he said.

The woman was inside her house when she saw the animal in her backyard. Sacramento police decided the report was credible enough to post on a social media site used to inform the public and solicit information, Morse said.

As of early evening, the department had not received any other reports about the animal.

The animal was spotted on the 700 block of 39th Street, an East Sacramento location about 2 miles from where a mountain lion was spotted in June. That lion was captured in a residential Oak Park backyard, felled by tranquilizer darts from a game warden. The lion was released to the wild.

Under state law, mountain lions are a protected species and can’t be killed unless they pose a clear threat to public safety.

In September, a 6-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in Cupertino. He was hospitalized but survived. In the last 10 years, seven people have been attacked by mountain lions in California, two fatally, according to the state department of fish and wildlife.

Call The Bee’s Brad Branan, (916) 321-1065. Follow him on Twitter @BradB_at_SacBee.