Mountain lion spotted in Rancho Santa Fe


On Sept. 2, at 7 a.m., a gardener working in the area of 4700 El Mirlo spotted what appeared to be a mountain lion in the orange grove between the two properties, according to RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser.

“We contacted wildlife officials, San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. and advised them of the sighting,” Wellhouser said. “The animal did not attack or approach the gardener.”

RSF is home to many species of animals, including coyotes, bobcat and mountain lions, Wellhouser said.

“These animals are native to the area and can be attracted around homes by leaving pet food out, the presence of small pets, etc.” Wellhouser said. “State Fish and Game warn people to not leave food or pets outside and keep a close eye on small children — especially during early morning or late afternoon times. In addition, do not jog, bike or hike alone; do not approach a coyote, bobcat, or mountain lion.”

Wellhouser added that sometimes the attraction of smaller wild animals attracts the bigger animals, as well.

These animals are most active at dawn, dusk and at night.

Often deer are attracted to the area because of food sources, same with opossums, raccoons, and other prey. These animals are often prey for larger animals.

In the past, neighboring communities have also had sightings, Wellhouser said. Mountain lions usually avoid humans; they are quiet, solitary and elusive. They can have a range of 200 miles.

“Please take precautions to avoid coming in contact with these animals,” Wellhouser said. Below are referral numbers you can call for more information. Refer to the websites below. If you see a mountain lion or experience an attack, contact the numbers below. Fish and game would like to know of sightings to track the activity.

• San Diego County Wildlife Services 1-800-486-0010

• California Fish and Game- San Diego office 858-467-4201

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