The Cal Poly Police Department is urging caution after a mountain lion was spotted at 1:30 p.m. Friday, half a mile up the Peterson Ranch Hiking Trail northeast of Poly Canyon Village.
While the mountain lion did not act aggressively, and mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, “mountain lions are considered threats to domestic stock and also considered a potential danger to children and small adults,” according to University Police.
The police offered several suggestions on how to respond to a mountain lion sighting:
▪ Keep children and pets close by. Mountain lions are attracted to smaller children so don’t let them wander too far away.
▪ Make noise when you’re hiking to help ensure that you don’t walk up on an unsuspecting lion. If a mountain lion hears you approaching, more often than not it will run away into the brush.
▪ If you encounter a lion, give it plenty of space so it can escape. Make yourself look big, pick up any children with you, and don’t run. The lion will more than likely leave. If you run, it will most likely chase you.
▪ If you are attacked, try to fight back. Kick, gouge its eyes, hit it in the face, do anything you can to make the lion rethink its attack. If you try to pretend you are dead, a lion will more than likely keep attacking.
▪ Bear Pepper Spray is useful against mountain lions. Aim at a lion’s nose and eyes.
▪ If you encounter a mountain lion on campus, do not approach or provoke it. Call 911 or University Police at 805-756-2281.