Mountain Lion spotted in Scotts Valley

June 3, 2008 11:32:41 PM PDT
A mountain lion attacking a small animal was spotted by students living near Gerhart Hall on the Bethany University campus in Scotts Valley Monday night, the second such sighting in as many days, a police sergeant said today.

Students reported seeing the cougar on both Sunday and Monday nights in 800 block of Bethany Drive, according to the Scotts Valley police Sgt. Mark Lopez.

According to the California Department of Fish and Game, mountain lions are known to frequent the area, but officials ask to be contacted if one is spotted.

Officials are also warning students that if confronted by a mountain lion to stand tall to appear larger. Spread the arms of a jacket or wave your arms to appear larger than you are. Do not run, turn your back or bend down, officials warn.

The use of pepper spray has been an effective deterrent, according to police.

Students are also being advised to avoid jogging or walking alone during the early morning hours or at dusk to avoid coming into contact with a mountain lion.

Residents who spot a mountain lion are asked to call the Department of Fish and Game at (831) 649-2810, or 911 if threatened by the animal.