A home security camera captured something unusual Monday night: what appears to be an adult mountain lion walking briskly through a Leander neighborhood.
The Leander Police Department posted a screenshot of the mountain lion on Facebook with a warning for neighbors to be cautious and keep their pets inside from dusk until dawn.
In the video, the mountain lion is seen for only a few seconds, walking behind cars parked in a driveway as it continues through the Mason Hills subdivision.
Phil Johnson, whose Ring security camera captured footage of the mountain lion, told CBS Austin News he "thought it was a dog at first. After looking at it a couple of times, I realized it was a mountain lion."
Humans rarely encounter mountain lions, which are reclusive by nature, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says.
On Parks and Wildlife's website, it says people should consider themselves fortunate if they're able to see one of these big cats in the wild. And not only are sightings rare, but so are attacks.
Only four attacks on humans have been reported in Texas since 1980 — all in remote parts of West Texas, the department says.
A 6-year-old boy from Leander was snatched from his mother by a mountain lion as they left a restaurant in Big Bend National Park in 2012. The boy survived with puncture wounds and cuts after his father stabbed the animal with a pocketknife.
If you find yourself in the unusual position of coming face to face with a mountain lion, here's what park rangers say you should do: talk calmly and slowly back away from the animal, maintain eye contact the entire time. Never run or turn your back to a mountain lion.
Parks and Wildlife says if it's an aggressive lion, throw rocks or sticks. If one attacks, fight back. Don't play dead. Rangers say even children have driven off a mountain lion by fighting back.