A mountain lion that was seen roaming in a residential community in California has still not been captured, according to the Modesto Bee. Residents of the Turlock community have been calling in for weeks with news of mountain lion sitings in Merced and Stanislaus counties, but reports were unconfirmed. Kyle Orr, of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, issued the following statement regarding the reports, according to the Modesto Bee.
“Roughly 80 percent of reports of mountain lion sightings are unverified.() But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lion there.”
The 90-pound mountain lion was seen roaming the neighborhood and had been spotted at Julien Elementary school located at 1924 E Canal Dr in Turlock. By the time officials made it to the scene, the mountain lion had vanished. Accoring to Fox-40, Turlock Police contacted residents by phone and by loud speaker to warn them that a mountain lion had been seen roaming the area, and that all residents should stay inside their homes. By Monday morning, children began arriving at the elementary school as officials continue to search for the animal, equipped with tranquilizers in case they locate it. The Turlock school system’s superintendent Sonny Da Marto told the Modesto Bee’s Bee In Turlock that the day will move about as usual.
“We are taking a business as usual approach to school this morning. I realize that the presence of a mountain lion has all of us concerned, however, we need to move forward with getting kids in school.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is heading the search, starting with the first place the lion had been spotted and tracing the scent from there.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, a mountain lion was seen roaming in the Foothill Drive section, where he was photographed sitting quietly under a vehicle, according to Fox-13. The mountain lion was located and shot with tranquilizers. His body was later recovered in an area further away from where he was first shot.
Mountain lions, which are considered a specially protected species, hunt in areas with a high deer population. Foothills and mountains make an especially appealing habitat for them. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife facts page, human attacks are rare, with only 16 human attacks and six fatalities on record.
The Inquisitr reported earlier that a 6-year-old girl had been attacked by a mountain lion on a hiking trail in California. The child was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.