Mountain lion spotted near schools

March 31, 2008 9:15:51 AM PDT
Two schools are on alert in the Santa Cruz Mountains right now after a mountain lion sighting about a half-mile away.

Police, along with Fish and Game officials, are looking for the big cat off Summit Road, near Loma Prieta Elementary and C.T. English Middle School, where classes continue. The two schools share a campus and are adjacent to one another. Altogether, there are about 420 students.

At 7:30 this morning a car hit a mountain lion on Summit Road. Sheriff's deputies say the lion got up and ran away.

The school says they're on alert and making sure to take precautions.

Fish and Game says a mountain lion's proximity to a school is one factor in determining if the animal is a public safety threat. When it is considered a public safety threat, it is killed when it's sighted. Fish and Game says while most attacks by mountain lion are on children, it is 1,000 times more likely for a person to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion.

Deputies are searching the area around Summit Road. There are homes in the area and along the hillside there is also a Christmas tree farm.

The school superintendent says they're just on alert right now. However, they say they do see mountain lion sightings in the area about every year.


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