Cougar versus Cardinal: Mountain lion
spotted on SPHS football field

June 04, 2014
Santa Paula News

It was the Cougar versus Cardinal when a mountain lion was spotted on the football field of Santa Paula High School Monday morning, the most recent in a series of sightings.

Santa Paula Police Sgt. Jeremy Watson said the mountain lion was reported June 2 at about 7:30 a.m. in the football field, “On the north side between the high school and the condominium complex... “

The cougar was gone when Officers responded but Watson said Animal Control Officer Adam McPhail found tracks “leading up to the View Drive area.”

At about 8:45 a.m. the VC Alert Emergency Notification System sent out an automated message warning of the sighting to a wide swath of the city where there has been an increasing number of cougar sightings.

Those sightings include in the Oaks, where on May 25 a mountain lion was observed carrying a small dead animal in its mouth as it passed through a Woodland Drive backyard.

Watson said citizens should be prepared to not only protect themselves, loved ones and pets from mountain lions but also to take a proactive role in ensuring they stay out of neighborhoods.

“The one way to try to control this cat and others is that people that live in areas where a cat is sighted should purchase an air horn,” and blast it when they observe a mountain lion. 

“They even have party favors like air horns that are high-pitched... the cat won’t like to stick around for long,” when such devices are deployed.

Watson said it is believed that if a mountain lion is “Bothered enough with noise, whatever, it will get the hint and won’t come back... but at least if one is seen and someone blows an air horn the cat is not going to like it and leave the area. 

“That is also a suggestion of Fish and Game... make as much noise as possible,” and make yourself look as large as possible when confronted by a big cat.

If you are armed with an air horn or any other loud, annoying noise making device you can blast it even if you’re not outside when you observe a mountain lion. Just crack open a window or door.

Also, do not leave pet food outside that attracts those critters that mountain lion’s like to feast on and make sure your pets are inside at night.

Don’t let small children play outside unattended and if confronted by a mountain lion, do not bend down to pickup your child or pet, rather crouch but as little as possible. 

Again, make noise, yell, throw things at the mountain lion but never run from the cat which is fast, agile and used to attacking pray from behind.

If attacked, fight back!

Of course if you observe a mountain lion call 911 and be prepared to report which direction the cougar was headed and its approximate size.

But noted Watson, don’t expect the animal to hang around to be captured.

“We can’t trap the cat, we call Fish and Game but it can take them some time to get here... and by the time they do,” the cougar has already moved on.

Watson said this morning’s report is “Probably the fifth or sixth report we’ve received of sightings,” primarily in the McKevett area.

“If I am correct this same cat lives up in the hills west of Highway 150 and it goes into the Oaks sometimes too,” or it’s entirely possible there’s more than one mountain lion roaming the city.

For more information visit https://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html





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