Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a misspelling.
A Mission Viejo resident captured video of a mountain lion behind her home in the Pacific Hills community Thursday morning, prompting a brief shelter-in-place order at a nearby middle school.
The footage, taken by Eve De Anda-Lang, shows the big cat moving up the hillside and pausing for a short time before going deeper into the brush and out of sight.
According to residents, the cougar was spotted on a hillside off Pacific Terrace Drive, near Oso Parkway and Pacific Hills Drive.
Newhart Middle School, located at 25001 Veterans Way, was briefly put under a shelter-in-place order after the sheriff’s department contacted the school’s principal, Judith Murphine, about the cougar sighting in Pacific Hills.
On its Facebook page, the City of Mission Viejo said animal services was patrolling the area of La Paz Road and Arbolitos after a sighting early in the morning.
“Animal Control Officers investigated the sighting this morning and determined there was no unusual behavior by the big cat, which seemed to be passing through the area,” officials said.
It was likely the same feline, but officials have not been able to confirm that.
Experts suggest that if you encounter a mountain lion, it’s important to remember these tips:
- Do not run, which trigger the animal’s predatory instincts to chase
- Pick up any small children or pets
- Do not turn your back on the animal, but look at its feet and avoid staring at it in the eyes
- Raise your arms over your head to appear larger if the animal is acting agressive
- Make noise by yelling
- Never approach the cougar
- If there are cubs, be extremely careful not to get between them and the mountain lion