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Mountain lion sighting in Mission Viejo

mountain lion

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center has received reports of mountain lion sightings near the crossing of Avery Parkway on the Arroyo Trabuco Trail. Mountain lions hunt deer, which live in the surrounding area, as well as coyotes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, rodents, rabbits, etc. They do not typically prey on domestic animals unless an opportunity arises and are solitary, elusive and typically avoid humans as much as possible.

Mountain lions are helpful in maintaining order in our ecosystem and assist to keep other wildlife numbers in check. If you see a mountain lion, report the sighting immediately to Mission Viejo Animal Services at 949-470-3045 or the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 949-770-6011.

For more information on mountain lions, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.


Submitted by Private on Mon, 05/17/2021 - 9:13 pm


Is this a first time occurance in this area? If not, how frequently has this been scene? What time of day was it? I feel I’m hearing others in MV say other areas have had sightings too. I saw on news a sighting in a MV backyard. Is this same sighting? I’m slightly concerned & want to know more to protect my family & pets. Please all other info encouraged. Thank you!

Submitted by City Staff on Tue, 05/18/2021 - 12:03 pm


Thank you for reaching out regarding our recent mountain lion sightings. Mission Viejo Animal Services is happy to help our community feel safe and secure while enjoying a high quality of life. Educating yourself about how to be safe is very important!

We typically get a few reports of mountain lion sightings throughout the year, however many of these reports are found to be a different animal such as a bobcat, or they are unconfirmed or unfounded. In this case, we were able to confirm that two sightings in close proximity to Avery Parkway and the Arroyo Trabuco Trail were mountain lions. Both of these sightings occurred last weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Both sightings occurred at night.

Here are some basic recommendations we have for living in mountain lion country. Please call us at 949-470-3045 if you have any questions. We are in the office 7 days a week, 7 am-9 pm, and we are happy to help!

At home tips:
• Acknowledge that you live in mountain lion country and make a commitment to educate yourself. Talk to your neighbors and work together.
• Never feed deer or other wildlife; it is illegal to feed wildlife in California and it will attract mountain lions.
• Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request A Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage from California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
• Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.
• Don’t leave small children or pets outside unattended.
• Install motion-sensitive lighting or sprinklers around the house.
• Don’t allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
• Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey.

Trail tips:
• Do not hike, bike, or jog alone. Stay alert on trails.
• Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active--dawn, dusk, and at night.
• Keep a close watch on small children.
• Off leash dogs on trails are at increased risk of becoming prey for a mountain lion.
• Never approach a mountain lion. Give them an escape route.
• DO NOT RUN. Stay calm. Running may trigger chase and catch response. Do not turn your back. Face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms, or opening your jacket if wearing one; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
• Do not crouch down or bend over. Squatting puts you in a vulnerable position of appearing like a prey animal.
• Be vocal; however, speak calmly and do not use high-pitched tones or screams.
• Teach others how to behave during an encounter.
• If a lion attacks, fight back. Research on mountain lion attacks suggests that many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, garden tools, even an ink pen or bare hands. Try to stay on your feet. If knocked down, try to protect head and neck.

Submitted by JM on Thu, 07/15/2021 - 8:20 am


If the mountain lions are coming into the neighborhoods to get prey, like coyotes, what are we doing to control the coyote population? Everyday I hear about coyotes killing peoples animals and getting more aggressive attacking people and leashed pets.

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