East Quincy residents around First Street and Dogwood Court are warned to be aware that there is a mountain lion in the area.
Kyle Kroll, the local lieutenant for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that there had been three reported sightings in the past two weeks, including security camera footage of the adult cat on a resident’s porch.
“Now we have pictures and it’s confirmed,” Kroll said of the mountain lion. Based on the images, Kroll said that it’s “definitely an adult.”
Linda and Gary Zacharatos believe that their cat fell victim to the mountain lion and are warning their neighbors to keep their pets inside at night. Kroll said that’s really good advice. He explained that mountain lions will remain in an area if there is a steady food source, but will move on if there is nothing to eat.
Unlike bears, mountain lions aren’t drawn to garbage or pet food. They are looking for prey.
In addition to keeping pets in at night, Kroll advised that children should be kept close to home, particularly at dawn and dusk.
As he does with his own children, Kroll advises individuals not to run if they see a mountain lion, but rather to yell and throw rocks. For a mountain lion, “running” is synonymous with prey. For tips on how to respond in the presence of a mountain lion or other wild animals, go to wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild.
Kroll also asks anyone who sees a mountain lion in a neighborhood to report it immediately.
The California electorate voted in 1990 to protect mountain lions. But if a lion becomes a threat, action can be taken. Fish and Wildlife officers can relocate a mountain lion or try to chase it out of an area.
Fish and Wildlife officers can also issue a depredation permit to a property owner so that he or she or their agent can take the animal. In those instances the property owner must show that a mountain lion has damaged property or killed its animals.
In the case of an immediate threat, a sheriff’s deputy or CHP officer could shoot the animal without the permit process.
To report a mountain lion sighting, call Kroll at 575-5736; or Zeke Awbray, the local warden, at 836-2018; or call the Sheriff’s Office at 283-6300.