Cougar sightings reported in Round Valley
March 8, 2011
State wildlife officials are investigating several mountain lion sightings reported in Round Valley.
Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Charlie Sturgis said the first sighting was reported about two weeks ago.
"I’m seeing tons of deer now and hadn’t been," Sturgis said. "You’re going to see that cougar want to follow deer around."
About six people have reported recent mountain lion sightings.
"To see all these cougars spotted during the daytime — it’s kind of unusual. Cats are nocturnal by nature," Sturgis said in a telephone interview. "I’m sure as winter goes away, the cat will go away and everything will go back to normal."
One person who reported a sighting said they were walking when they spotted a mountain lion. The cat was described as weighing about 100 pounds. It was spotted about 50 yards from a trail.
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"If people stay on a heightened sense of awareness I think people are going to be just fine," Sturgis said.
Round Valley is a popular location for hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
People should be cautious when letting their dogs run loose, Sturgis said.
"Dogs off of leashes are a concern, small dogs are a concern, but a cat, if it’s basically backed into a corner, it is going to take anything on," he said. "It’s definitely going to take on a person."
The sightings were reported in the Valderoad and Rademan Ridge areas of Round Valley. Sturgis said he thinks there is more than one mountain lion.
"The first person who sent me an e-mail said they saw the mountain lion at like 9:30 in the morning," Sturgis said. "We’ve had repeated sightings in the same area When you’re talking about seeing multiple sightings of cougar at daytime hours, that’s pretty rare."
There is information posted near the trailheads informing people what to do if they encounter a mountain lion.
"You have to take an aggressive position with a cat," Sturgis said. "If a cat were to actually attack you, you need to be fighting for your life. A cat will just kill you outright."