A full-grown mountain lion was sighted Thursday evening on a rooftop in south Palo Alto, in the 800 block of Rorke Way, police reported today (Friday).
Sgt. Dan Ryan said a 45-year-old man heard footsteps on the roof of a neighbor's house and saw the large cat, which jumped off the roof into the back yard.
The man told police he had just visited a museum where he had seen a stuffed cat, with a long, distinctive tail, and was positive of his sighting.
Police searched the area but could find no trace of the cat, Ryan said. There were no tracks evident in the hard ground, unlike an earlier sighting of a lion on a rooftop by a teenage girl when the lion jumped into a damp flowerbed and left deep tracks, he said.
An officer stayed in the area for about an hour. But no one else has reported seeing the cougar, Ryan said. Without a second sighting the telephone-alert system was not activated, he added.
Rorke Way is three houses away from Barron Creek, which Ryan called "a mountain-lion highway. They use it as a natural trail."
On May 17, 2004, a young mountain lion was spotted by a newspaper deliveryman around the Newell Road area and was finally cornered in a tree on Walnut Drive and shot dead by police.