HomeOutdoorsNewsCalifornia Students Shelter in Place After Mountain Lion Sighting in the Community

California Students Shelter in Place After Mountain Lion Sighting in the Community

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Students at a middle school in Mission Viejo, California were forced to shelter in place on Thursday (December 15th) after a resident captured a video of a mountain lion in the area. 

According to KTLA, the mountain lion was spotted on a hillside off Pacific Terrace Drive, which is near Osos Parkway and Pacific Hills Drive. Newhart Middle School, which is in the same area, was briefly put under a shelter-in-place order. This was after the sheriff’s department spoke to the school principal, Judith Murphine, about the signing. 

The city shared on Facebook that animal services were patrolling the area of La Paz Road and Arbolitos. This was after another mountain lion sighting early in the morning. “Animal Control Officers investigated the sighting this morning,” the city explained. It was determined there was no unusual behavior by the big cat, which seemed to be passing through the area.

“While mountain lions have always roamed the wide green belts and creeks through southern Orange County,” the city explained. “With the increase of technology and motion-sensor cameras, sightings have become much more prevalent. Mountain lions are generally extremely elusive animals and avoid contact with humans.”

Mission Viejo Animal Services Supervisor, Kyle Werner, also spoke out about the sighting. “One important goal of Mission Viejo Animal Services is to be a steward of these magnificent animals,” he explained. “While ensuring the public remains safe. The department works closely with state and university biologists when sightings are reported. Animal Control Officers will be providing extra patrols of the neighborhood and trails in the area.”

Authorities have not confirmed if it was the same mountain lion in both sightings.

A Mountain Lion Recently Dragged a Dog Out of a House in Santa Rosa, California 

The latest mountain lion sighting comes just days after a dog was dragged out of its Santa Rosa, California home by one of the large cats. 

KRON 4 reported the attack happened earlier this month when a Bennett Valley, California left the sliding glass door of her home open. The mountain lion snuck in and grabbed the homeowner’s border collie. Although she wasn’t nearby the homeowner heard the commotion. 

“A neighbor came over and fired a shot in the area,” the homeowner’s neighbor, Ron Crane explained. Luckily, the dog was rescued and even survived the attack. “She thought it was a goner for sure,” Crane said about the homeowner. However, the mountain lion remained outside the house and continued staring through the glass door for several hours. 

It was also reported that the mountain lion killed two goats before it was euthanized by California state wildlife biologists. Crane went on to add it’s fortunate that the mountain lion did not target a small child. “That could have easily have been a kid,” he stated. “The local activist organization knew this cat had erratic behavior problems for a while. I’m a local rancher. The public needs the whole story.”