SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — A warning tonight for people in Sacramento County: be on the lookout for mountain lions if you plan to spend time enjoying the outdoors.
Following several mountain lion sightings in the area, the Sacramento County Parks Department put out a public bulletin Friday reminding people there are mountain lions in the area. Officials say the cats are around all year long, but the weather may bring them into more populated areas.
Frank Hafar loves the outdoors, and while he’s never seen a mountain lion in person, he says one day he’d like to cross path with one.
“I’d like to see one, yes I think it’d be interesting,” said Hafar.
His wife Linda isn’t as open to the idea.
“I’m not keen on it.”
The Hafars know the risks of running into mountain lions. They’re avid walkers, hitting the trails across Sacramento County every day.
“We’re always aware of that possibility,” said Linda Hafar.
Within the last year, mountain lions have been sighted at Sacramento Bar Park, Ancil Hoffman Park and Larchmont Rossmorr Park.
So, county park officials put out an advisory reminding people who plan to stroll along the American River to be prepared should they run into one.
“We’re being proactive,” said Wade Derby, commander of Sacramento County Parks Department.
Derby says he doesn’t believe there are more mountain lions in the area than before.
“We don’t believe that the public is in any grave danger from the mountain lions.”
But, he says their favorite prey is. This year, Derby says more deer are hanging around.
“The water levels aren’t what they were last year, so that habitat is open and that deer is still in the area occupying it. Literally, this time last year we didn’t see that because the river flows were so high.”
A notice that mountain lions are in the area and could become more visible. Anyone hitting the outdoors should be ready in case they see one.
Frank says on second thought, “If I don’t, that’s okay.”
If you do see a mountain lion, officials say do not run. They say mountain lions react when their prey is fleeing. They recommend to speak very loudly and let the cat know you’re there.