A mountain lion was spotted roaming around Laguna Beach on Sunday night and early Monday.
City officials received reports around 11:30 p.m. that a male mountain lion, dubbed “M317,” was spotted near Catalina and Calliope streets, according to a news release.
Then, around 1:30 a.m Monday, the animal was seen by Laguna Beach Police officers in the 600 block of S. Coast Highway, between Cleo and Legion Streets.
“In all sightings, including last evening, M317 has shown an appropriate fear of humans,” the city said.
The mountain lion is tagged with a GPS collar by the California Mountain Lion Project, which studies and tracks the movements and behavior of the animals.
Since April 25, the researcher-tracked animal has been in the Aliso Woods Canyon area.
The city said it is working with partner agencies, including OC Parks and researchers at UC Davis, to continue to monitor the animal’s whereabouts.
The same mountain lion was captured on video in March running through an Irvine shopping center and trying to enter a hair salon. The animal was apparently not a welcome customer as the receptionist quickly closed the door, causing the big cat to slam up against the glass window and then run away. He was eventually captured and returned to the wild.
Mountain lions are solitary and elusive, and typically avoid people by nature.
It’s not known why mountain lions venture out to neighborhoods, but wildlife experts say that as the human population expands into mountain lion habitat, there will be more frequent sightings.
Residents should remember the following safety tips for mountain lions and other wildlife:
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t approach any wild animal.
- Give wildlife the time and space to steer clear of you.
- If you see a mountain lion, try to look as large as you can and do not crouch down.
- Don’t walk alone, bring a friend.
- Wear bright and highly contrasting clothing.
- Watch for signs and trail postings.
- Avoid jogging or mountain biking in low-light conditions at dusk and dawn.
- Stay on the trail.
- Supervise children and keep them within arm’s reach.
- Keep pets on a secure leash.
- Keep pets indoors.
If you see a mountain lion, report the sighting immediately to Laguna Beach Police at 949-497-0701.