BERKELEY (CBS 5) – Officials at the University of California, Berkeley are alerting students, staff and faculty to a family of mountain lions recently spotted on campus.
According to a statement from the university, a security guard at an electrical switching station on the west side of Stern Hall has spotted a mountain lion three times since June. University police said the lion appeared to be trailing a deer during each sighting. The mountain lion was once seen with two cubs.
The latest sighting occurred near Gayley Road on the eastern edge of campus around 2:30 a.m. on July 19th.
The university said mountain lions are known to frequent the hills above campus, with deer carcasses occasionally reported.
A mountain lion spotted in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto in September 2010 was fatally shot by police.
The university urges the public to avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn. Hikers are encouraged to make plenty of noise, and to use a good walking stick. Children should always be kept within sight of adult hikers.
Police also recommend hikers to not approach lions, especially if it’s feeding or with its young.
If a mountain lion is encountered, police recommend staying calm and facing the lion. Running should be avoided, which may trigger the lion’s instinct to attack. Small children should also be picked up.
People who encounter mountain lions should try to appear larger by raising their hands, police said. If a lion acts aggressively, throw rocks or branches at the animal. Authorities encourage fighting back if attacked by a mountain lion.