By Julie Johnson
Source San Francisco Chronicle
A mountain lion bounding across a suburban highway in San Mateo was struck by an oncoming police patrol vehicle late Saturday, officials said.
It was unclear how badly the animal was wounded. When the officer got out of the vehicle, the mountain lion was gone, San Mateo police said.
The San Mateo officer reported hitting the animal about 10:25 p.m. Saturday on Highway 92 near the Hillsdale Boulevard exit, an area with a mix of suburban homes and open space. He was driving east, and the mountain lion was running across the lanes of traffic, heading left to right, according to a department news release.
The officer tried to stop before hitting the mountain lion, and the impact damaged the patrol vehicle, leaving "patches of animal hair," police said.
Mountain lions live throughout much of California, and several sightings have been reported this year in the Bay Area.
A mountain lion spotted near an elementary school last month in Sonoma County put several campuses on lockdown while authorities trapped and tranquilized the animal. In late September, residents of Daly City were urged to be cautious outside after a mountain lion was spotted prowling city streets.
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