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Mountain Lion Reported at Berkeley Lab

UC Berkeley responded to a report of a mountain lion sighting at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Thursday but did see the animal or any traces of its being there, police said Friday.

UC police received a report of mountain lion at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab on Thursday, police said.

A police search of the area did not find any mountain or "any signs of mountain lion activity or presence," UC police said in a statement today, Friday.

Police said the cougar was reported near Building 26, the lab Health Center, which is located about 1,000 feet south of the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Berkeley Lab is located in the Berkeley Hills above the UC Berkeley campus.

"Deer are a major food source for Mountain Lions," the UC police notice said. "Last year, several sightings of mountain lions occurred in the hills above the Berkeley campus and carcasses of animals suspected to have been attacked by
mountain lions were also discovered."

Campus police offered the following recommendations about potential encounters with mountain lions:

To reduce the chances of encountering a Mountain Lion:

•       Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn, when lions
normally do their hunting. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to
reduce the chances of surprising a lion.
•       Always keep children in sight while hiking and within arm's reach in
areas that can conceal a lion. Mountain Lions seem to be drawn to
children.
•       Hike with a good walking stick; this can be useful in warding off a lion.

To reduce the chances of an attack when encountering a Mountain Lion:

•       Do not approach a lion, especially if it is feeding or with its young.
Most lions will avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
•       Stay calm and face the lion. Do not run because this may trigger the
lion's instinct to attack. Try to appear larger by raising your hands.
•       Pick up small children so they don't panic and run. This will also make
you appear larger. Avoid bending over or crouching.
•       If the lion acts aggressively, throw rocks, branches, or whatever can be
obtained without turning your back or bending over.
•       Fight back if attacked. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the
head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. People
have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, or bare hands.

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To see past Patch articles on local mountain lion sightings, click here. For email alerts to future articles on mountain lion sighting, click Keep me posted below.

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