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Public Safety Tips Following Repeat Mountain Lion Sighting in Santa Ynez Residential Neighborhood

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind the public of important safety tips following a repeat mountain lion sighting Thursday in a residential area of Santa Ynez.

The first sighting occurred at approximately 7:30 a.m. when an adult mountain lion weighing approximately 100 pounds was spotted in a residential driveway in the 3100 block of Samantha Drive.  

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area and found the animal lying underneath a pick-up truck. California Department of Fish and Wildlife agents responded as well, however the mountain lion left the area before any relocation efforts could be made.  

The mountain lion was spotted again in the same area in the evening but was gone by the time deputies arrived.

Please keep in mind that if you live in a rural or semi-rural area where there is open space near your residence, wild animals such as bear and mountain lions always have the potential to enter into your neighborhood.  

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has the following tips to help avoid conflicts with these wild animals.

» 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.

» Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.

» Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.

» Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.

An adult mountain lion was spotted twice Thursday in a residential neighborhood of Santa Ynez, including under a truck around 7:30 a.m. on the 3100 block of Samantha Drive. Click to view larger
An adult mountain lion was spotted twice Thursday in a residential neighborhood of Santa Ynez, including under a truck around 7:30 a.m. on the 3100 block of Samantha Drive.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

» 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.

​Pets, livestock and even people are potential prey to a mountain lion. Although mountain lions prefer deer, they may turn to alternate food sources if they are available and that is when conflicts may occur.

»  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 you see a mountain lion in a residential neighborhood, immediately call 9-1-1.

For more information, please go to the CDFW page on mountain lions here or the Mountain Lion Foundation page here

Kelly Hoover is public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. 


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