A mountain lion ventured onto UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus early Monday morning, authorities report.
A UC employee saw the lion just after 3:30 a.m. while walking through the campus, according to a notice from the University of California Police Department. Clark Kerr is located east of Warring Street and south of Dwight Way.
UCPD said the animal “was not aggressive and did not move.” The worker “backed away until the mountain lion was out of view and left the area.”
A later search for the animal turned up nothing, UCPD said. The sighting happened on Sports Lane and south of Building 22, which is near the eastern border of the campus and Clark Kerr Track.
UCPD said it received the report about the sighting at 3:15 p.m. Its community alert was released just after 6 p.m. The last report of a mountain lion at Clark Kerr was in July.
UCPD noted that “Deer are a major food source for Mountain Lions. In the past couple of years, several sightings of mountain lions have occurred in the hills above the Berkeley campus and carcasses of animals suspected to have been attacked by mountain lions were also discovered.” There was no mention of a new carcass discovery in Monday’s statement, however.
UCPD last alerted the community to a mountain lion sighting in January when a cub was reportedly seen near the Greek Theatre. Three mountain lions were seen in separate incidents in the Berkeley hills last fall.
UCPD released the following safety tips to help limit the chances of encountering a mountain lion:
- Avoid hiking or jogging 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 and pets in sight while hiking and within arms reach in areas that can conceal a lion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.