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Press Release: UCPOLICE Safety Alert - Possible Mountain Lion Sighting

Friday October 12, 2012 - 06:36:00 PM

On 10-12-12, UCPD received unconfirmed information of a Mountain Lion sighting near the Smyth-Fernwald construction site. Third-hand information was relayed to UCPD regarding a contract security guard that saw three cubs chasing a doe and two fawns, possibly during the evening of 10-10-12.

Deer are a major food source for Mountain Lions. 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.

UCPD is following up on this information and will release further information to the public after interviews with the security company/guards are completed. 

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
• 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. 

Beginning at dusk, 7 days a week, you can access the BearWalk web link at to make a request for a safe way home, and
to see a live map of our night safety buses and their proximity relative
to your location. You can also contact BearWalk via phone at 642-WALK
(9255). Remember, shuttles stop on the North Side of Moffitt every half
hour. For further info please visit the UCPD website at 

This alert was distributed as a public service to the University community. 


As with any emergency situation, if you see suspicious activity, call 9-1-1. 

>From a cell phone on or near campus, call (510) 642-3333. 

An Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) version of this alert will be
available at:,7 

Mitchell J. Celaya III
Chief of Police
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