February 16, 1999
TO: THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
In the past month there have been at least three mountain lion sightings on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The first of these sightings was 1/14/99 on the Chinquapin fire road. A bicyclist riding in the backwoods watched a mountain lion walk across the trail ahead of him at 12:30 p.m. The second sighting occurred on 2/3/99 at 4:30 a.m. on Chinquapin Rd. near Crown College. On that same day, another sighting was reported; this sighting occurred between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. In this instance, two hikers reported that a mountain lion followed them for a short while, while they hiked "The Loop" in the backwoods.
We have consulted with the Department of Fish and Game and at this time feel there is no need for alarm. These sightings, however, serve to remind us, and to inform newcomers to the area, that most of our campus is situated in mountain lion habitat. Therefore, when you are out in the woods, it is prudent to recall the following safety precautions advised by the department of Fish and Game.
1) Do not hike or jog alone in the woods, especially at night, at twilight, in late evening, or in the early morning hours. Joggers are especially at risk.
2) If you do encounter a lion, the Department of Fish and Game suggests you take the following actions:
--STOP! DO NOT RUN FROM A LION. Back away from it slowly, but only if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright.
--STAY CALM when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly, yet firmly to it.
--DO NOT APPROACH A LION, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
--DO NOT JOG OR HIKE ALONE. Make plenty of noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. A sturdy walking stick is a good idea: you can use it to ward off a lion.
--KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU, making sure they are always within your sight. Talk to them about lions and tell them what to do if they meet one.
--DO NOT CROUCH AND BEND OVER; DO ALL YOU CAN DO TO APPEAR LARGER. Raise your arms. Open your jacket, if you're wearing one. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they won't panic and run.
--IF THE LION BEHAVES AGGRESSIVELY, throw stones, branches, or whatever you can grab without crouching or turning your back.
--FIGHT BACK and try to stay on your feet if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven off by prey that fights back!
--PLEASE REPORT ALL MOUNTAIN LION SIGHTINGS ON OR NEAR THE UCSC CAMPUS, AS WELL AS ANY ANIMAL CARCASS THAT COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO A LION KILL. Contact University Animal Officer Deb White at 459-2231.
For additional information about mountain lions and campus sightings, visit the following web site: www2.ucsc.edu/police/liondoc2.html.
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