If you drive only 20 minutes south of Rohnert Park you’ll see stretches of farmland and open pasture inhabited by cows, goats, and other livestock. However, Sonoma County is also home to other wildlife that some visitors might be less eager to experience up close. Mountain lions, bears, vultures, and more also call Sonoma County’s landscape home. They inhabit Taylor Mountain, less than five miles from Sonoma State’s campus, and Trione-Annadel Park, just 14 miles away.
On occasions, this wildlife makes its way onto Sonoma State’s campus or in the surrounding towns. Last year, a female mountain had to be removed from roaming around near schools in Rohnert Park, and only last week there was a bear walking around downtown Petaluma. In an area teeming with animals, Sonoma County residents must remain informed about the behaviors of Sonoma County’s wildlife and be prepared for interactions.
Annie Fanelli, a resident of Rohnert Park since 2020, has only recently been surrounded by the wildlife that she now finds herself preparing for a glimpse of. While she’s lived in areas surrounded by farmland and mountains before, this past year was the first time she heard about wildlife getting quite so close. Fanelli heard firsthand that a mountain lion came only steps away from her backyard. However, despite this, she has maintained that the best defense against a possible mountain lion by your home is a greater understanding.
“I have no problem with ‘so-called’ wild animals- we’re in their territory,” Fanelli said.
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