Santa Maria - North County

Mountain lion spotted near Allan Hancock campus in Lompoc

Students, staff sheltered in place

LOMPOC, Calif. - A mountain lion was spotted near the Lompoc campus of Allan Hancock College late Tuesday morning.

The school confirmed that the mountain lion was seen at the Lompoc Valley Center at around 11:30 a.m.

The big cat was spotted on the northwest side of the Lompoc Valley center near some adjacent hiking trails between the campus and Highway 1.

Lompoc Valley Center faculty, staff and students were asked to stay indoors, but a shelter-in-place warning was never issued, according to school officials.

The Lompoc Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office responded to the campus and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have been notified of the sighting. 

Any mountain lion sighting at the campus can be reported to campus police at 805-922-6966, ext. 3911 for the Santa Maria Campus or 805-735-3366, ext. 5911 at the Lompoc Valley Center.

Below are some tips from the Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding mountain lion encounters

  • KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU: Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.
  • DO NOT RUN FROM A LION: Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If there are small children there, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.
  • DO NOT CROUCH DOWN OR BEND OVER: Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.
  • APPEAR LARGER: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.
  • FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED: Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.

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