Mountain lion spotted Sunday on 1400 block of Ojai Road
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: November 28, 2012
Santa Paula Police investigated a report of a mountain lion Sunday in a residential area on the north side of the city.
According to Interim SPPD Chief Ishmael Cordero, officers responded at about 2 p.m. to the 1400 block of North Ojai Road for a report of a mountain lion.
Officers who spoke to witnesses determined the sighting was of a full size mountain lion, and Cordero said area residents received automated emergency calls advising them of the incident. Although SPPD officers checked the surrounding area, the animal was not located.
Santa Paula had numerous mountain lion sightings over a period of months that started in February 2009, a situation that was considered unusual by wildlife experts. It has been shown that as many as one-third of those who see a wild animal such as a mountain lion do not report it to the proper authorities.
Cordero urges anyone who sees a mountain lion to call 9-1-1 immediately to report the incident, including, if possible, the size of the animal, the activity engaged in and the direction of travel. Cordero said the SPPD has received just the one report, but it is always good to keep mountain lion encounter safety tips in mind.
Do not approach the animal. If you are walking with a child or animal, do not bend over or crouch down to pick them up; rather do so making as little movement as possible.
Cordero said, “If you come across a mountain lion make yourself seem as large as possible... strand up straight, if you are wearing a jacket or a sweater hold on to it” and raise your arms. “Maintain eye contact, stand your ground... do not turn your back to a mountain lion and attempt to run away - they’ll think you’re prey.”
Walking should be done with a companion, and a noisemaker taken along. Keep pets secure and avoid leaving pet food outside; and landscape for safety by removing places the lion can hide.
Mountain lions can bound up to 40 feet, leap 15 feet in the air, and sprint as fast as 50 miles per hour.