Mountain lion sighting in Belmont residential area

Mountain lion sighting in Belmont residential area

Melanie Hamaguchi, Staff Writer

A mountain lion was sighted on Hastings Drive on Oct. 21, the second sighting of a mountain lion in that week.

A Belmont man contacted local authorities, reporting that he had witnessed a mountain lion run across the road while he was driving. The man claimed that the mountain lion ran off the road and down into the canyon, out of sight.

“Mountain lions live in the area and there is just not much you can do about it,” said sophomore Justin Tsuchiyama.

Mountain lion’s habitats include a wide array of places including forests and deserts. The nearby Waterdog Lake Park is a known habitat for mountain lions, though the animal is described as solitary and generally avoids humans.

“The mountain lion incident at Ralston a while ago was kind of scary, it made me a little nervous,” said former Ralston student Daniel David.

In early 2011, Ralston Middle School was locked down after a mountain lion was spotted by a student near the campus. Students were kept inside for nearly an hour and outdoor activities were restricted for the rest of the day.

“As long as you give the mountain lion room you should be fine,” said Belmont resident Emily Rexer.

To keep oneself safe from mountain lions, authorities recommend not to go out alone in forested areas at night. When sighting a mountain lion it is said to be best if one does not run and instead stands their ground. Throwing sticks and stones at the mountain lion is also recommended.

While mountain lions live in the area, it is important to know that precautions exist that can prevent incidents with mountain lions in order to ensure the safety of the community.

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