Mountain lion by princecody:CC
Cougar sightings are not uncommon in the Berkeley hills. A Berkeley Lab staffer reported seeing one on Lab property recently. Photo: princecody

UC Berkeley Police have issued an alert about a possible mountain lion sighting on Berkeley Lab property.

The department said it received a report from a Lab employee who said they had seen a mountain lion near Building 90 on Thursday Nov. 20.

Over the weekend, workers also found a small deer carcass that may have been killed by a mountain lion, UCPD said in a press release. The carcass was located on a foot trail near Parking Lot D.

Berkeley Lab site map. Click map to enlarge

Building 90 is in the far north-west corner of the Lab campus. Parking Lot D is close by, just south-east of Building 90.

There have been several sightings of mountain lions in the hills above the Berkeley campus, particularly on Berkeley Lab land, over the past few years. Lab staff are occasionally asked to ‘shelter in place’ after confirmed sightings.

Carcasses of animals suspected to have been attacked by mountain lions have also been discovered.

In January last year, mountain lion tracks were spotted in the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve. In August 2010, a mountain lion made its way down from the hills and wandered through Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood before it was shot and killed on Walnut Street by the police.

Mountain lions, also known as cougars, tend to stay well clear of humans when they can. They are drawn to the fringes of urban areas like Berkeley by the lure of deer, a major food source for them.

The animals tend to hunt for prey such as deer at dawn or dusk so those are the times to be particularly vigilant if out hiking local trails. Read guidelines issued by UCPD on how to prevent encounters with mountain lions, and what to do if you do encounter one.

Mountain lion tracks sighted on Claremont Canyon trail (01.21.13)
Concerns raised with reports of mountain lion sightings [11.16.12]
Mountain lion closes parts of road, Lab staff shelter in place [10.11.12]
Berkeley Lab on alert after sighting of lion and cubs [08.17.12]
Mountain lion and her cubs spotted in Berkeley hills [07.24.12]
Mountain lion possibly spotted at UC apartments Tuesday [01.12.12]
Mountain lion tours Gourmet Ghetto [8.31.10]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...