Security Chief Greg Remson reported Tuesday that a Security patrol officer on routine patrol overnight observed a mountain lion walking on the hill between Lake Chesbro and the water treatment plant. Remson reminds residents that "we live in mountain lion country," and advised people to call Security at 354-2273 (CARE) if they see one.
The mountain lion's main source of food is deer. The Rancho Murieta deer population thrives on landscaping and some people deliberately feed them, although it's against the law to feed deer by putting out grain or salt licks.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides a brochure about living with mountain lions that is available on its web site or at the Community Services District Building and the gates. Advice includes deer-proofing landscaping, installing outdoor lighting and keeping pets secure.
The web site notes that more than half of California is mountain lion habitat. Mountain lions that threaten people are immediately killed, since moving problem mountain lions is not an option.
The following information comes from the Fish and Wildlife web site:
Living in mountain lion country
- Don't feed deer; it is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
- Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request A Gardener's Guide to Preventing Deer Damage from DFG offices.
- Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.
- Don't leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Provide sturdy, covered shelters for sheep, goats, and other vulnerable animals.
- Don't allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active ... dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey.
- Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
- Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active?dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Keep a close watch on small children.
- Do not approach a mountain lion.
- If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
- If attacked, fight back.
- If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.