It appears that the mountain lion spotted by Mammoth Police two weeks ago remains in the area.
According to Mammoth Police, a 12 year old young man living on Lupine Street reported seeing a mountain lion at about 10:30 Thursday night. After receiving a 911 call, Mammoth Police Officers called former wildlife officer Steve Searles. When Police and Searles arrived at the scene minutes after the call, the lion was gone. Searles says that he did find cougar tracks in the yard and that its possible the animal was attracted by rabbits being raised for the 4-H program.
Two weeks ago, Police spotted a mounatin lion in the same neighborhood and followed it across Main Street before it disappeared.
Searles says that about once a year a mountain lion comes through town. While its newsworthy, he says, its not that uncommon.
Searles explained that in his past experience, its usually an older cougar that comes into town and stays in the area for a few weeks. Searles has not seen this animal yet, but says that from the size of the track, the animal could possibly be young or a female.
Small pets would be on the list of prey for a mountain lion, but deer are the number one food source for lions, he explained. Deer herds are cyclical, he explained, and right now the deer herd is strong in Mammoth. Evidence of a deer killed by a lion was recently found at the Valentine Reserve.
The mountain lion population in the Eastern Sierra is well documented, he says. They are all around us, Searles points out, they see us all the time but we dont see them. The interaction usually goes without incident.
So is it time to load up the land rover and head out on safari? Searles says that seeing a mountain lion is a neat thing,and that by the numbers people have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being attacked.
People in the Eastern Sierra are well adapted to seeing wildlife, he explained. He trusts that people will use good judgment and common sense, when it comes to mountain lions in town.