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Mountain lion sightings in Redlands area prompt warnings

June 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Bear sightings in the foothill communities are becoming more common. Now, mountain lion sightings in Redlands. Residents are being warned to be on the lookout for the wild cats.

The latest sighting was on Saturday. A resident reported seeing one on a hilltop just behind their home. Another resident reported seeing one in their own back yard. Both the homes are situated against mountains in the area.

Experts say mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, but they are warning residents and hikers in the area to be alert.

With several sightings in the last week, residents in the South Redlands area are on the lookout for mountain lions.

"We used to see deer a lot more than we do now, coyotes, and rattlesnakes and all kinds of little critters," said area resident Jerry Moore. "Never a mountain lion, everything but that just about. And no bears of course."

Earlier in the week, there were two reported sightings of mountain lions in the hills of South Redlands.

"I think it's a lack of water and food, it's just been a dry year. So they tend to come more into civilization looking for food. That's my guess," said Moore.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says it's rare to see mountain lions in Redlands. While not common, every now and then folks do run into them.

Jo Ann Levine did six months ago while out on an early morning walk.

"It was off to the left of me. It was just as afraid to see me as I was to see it, but it didn't move at all, it just stayed in one spot," said Levine.

Despite the close encounter, Levine says she's not too concerned with the recent sightings just blocks away.

In fact, neighbors are abuzz about the newest resident lurking in the hills.

"I think it is pretty cool. I'd like to see it myself. I didn't see it but I heard about it. I'd like to see it strolling around our backyard," said Redlands resident Zack Willason.

Experts say that if you do come across a mountain lion, it's best not to approach it. Make eye contact and don't run away, because that stimulates its predatory instinct to chase.

Experts also say that 80 percent of mountain lion sightings are incorrect.


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