Mountain lion sighting is the third near or on campus in four days

Two mountain lions were reported seen near the Barn Theater at the entrance to the UC Santa Cruz campus at about 3 a.m. Friday, November 28.

The reported sighting is the third in the general vicinity in four days. Tuesday, Santa Cruz police said a mountain lion was seen in the 100 block of Los Ondas Court. Police said one was seen Wednesday evening in the 1900 block of Bay Street.

In all three cases, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and members of the UC Santa Cruz Puma Project have been notified.

Members of the UC Santa Cruz campus community are advised to be alert, take precautions, and call 911 if they see a mountain lion.

Mountain lions are generally shy and elusive. The Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends that you:

DO NOT HIKE ALONE. Make noise to reduce your chances of surprising a lion. Travel in groups, with adults supervising children. A sturdy walking stick can be used to ward off a lion.

KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE. Keep children within your sight at all times.

STOP. Do not run from a lion. Back away slowly, but only if you can do so safely. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they won't panic and run. Although it may seem awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.

DO NOT BEND OR CROUCH OVER; DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER. A person squatting or bending over may appear like a four-legged prey animal. Raise your arms. Open your jacket, if you're wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can grab without or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a large voice.

DO NOT APPROACH A LION, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

FIGHT BACK. Try to stay on your feet if a lion attacks. Lions have been driven off by prey that fights back. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. Since lions usually try to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.