SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Multiple callers reported seeing a mountain lion on three different streets in San Marcos over the weekend, sheriff’s officials said.
The San Marcos Sheriff’s Station started getting calls on Sunday shortly after 9 a.m., and witnesses reported seeing a mountain lion in the 1500 block of Glencrest Drive, in the 1700 block of Melrose Drive and in the 2200 block of Silverado Street, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s department personnel used a helicopter to search for the cougar, but were not able to confirm the sightings. California Department of Fish and Game officers were notified and also checked the area, but also came up empty-handed, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s officials said the state Department of Fish and Game had also received unconfirmed reports of mountain lion sightings in those areas over the weekend.
Officials with the state agency said mountain lions are most active around dawn, dusk and at night and pets should not be allowed out at those times and pet food should be brought inside; pets and small children should not be left outside unattended; and runners, hikers or joggers should not travel alone and should avoid the activities at times when the cats are most active.
Providing food to deer, which is illegal in the state, should be avoided because it could attract mountain lions. Trimming brush could thin out possible hiding places; and motion-sensitive lights should be installed around homes.
Authorities said those who encounter a mountain lion should not approach it, but should not run away, the department suggested. They should face the cougar, make noise and try to appear bigger by waving their arms and throw rocks or other objects.
Small children should be picked up by adults, the department advised. Fight back if attacked and call 911 immediately is someone else is attacked.
Mountain lion sightings can be reported to the state Department of Fish and Game at (951) 443-2969.