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Rocklin Police Alert Residents Of Possible Mountain Lion Sightings

Courtesy of Rocklin Police Department

Photo taken from Morgan Court.

Courtesy of Rocklin Police Department

The Rocklin Police Department is alerting people in some neighborhoods after receiving reports of three “big cat” or mountain lion sightings over the past two months.

The first sighting was reported Feb. 21 at about 4:26 p.m. on Morgan Court. A resident reported seeing a bobcat in his backyard and provided a photograph of a large cat resembling a mountain lion. The animal was gone before officers arrived at the scene. But authorities said the incident was a "credible sighting" of a mountain lion and reported it to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Another sighting was reported on April 4 at about 1:53 p.m. near Parker Whitney School. School officials placed the school on lockdown as police officers combed the area, searching for paw prints or scat. The responding officers, however, were unable to find any physical evidence of a mountain lion.

The last incident took place April 6 at 11:48 p.m. in the 5300 block of Humboldt Drive. A resident reported "a large cat or mountain lion," saying it could be responsible for killing a domesticated cat. Responding officers were again unable to find any sign of a mountain lion, but reported the incident to the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. 

Statistically speaking, a person is one thousand times more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Out of the hundreds of sightings reported annually in the state, fewer than three precent were considered to be public safety threats.

California Department Of Fish and Wildlife FAQs

The Rocklin Police Department released the following tips for residents. 

  • Be vigilant and maintain an awareness of your surroundings
  • Keep an eye on children and small animals, particularly in wooded areas and at dusk or nighttime

In an event of a mountain lion encounter: 

  • Make yourself appear as large as possible.  Do not crouch down or bend over
  • Never turn your back or run from a mountain lion
  • Slowly create distance and give the animal a chance to escape
  • Protect your pets and keep them inside if possible
  • Call the police department and report all sightings


Verified Mountain Lion Attacks On Humans In CA (1986-2013)
Date Type Attack Location County Victim Sex Age
March 1986 Nonfatal Caspers Wilderness Park Orange Female 5 yrs
Oct. 1986 Nonfatal Caspers Wilderness Park Orange Male 6 yrs
March 1992 Nonfatal Gaviota State Park Santa Barbara Male 9 yrs
Sept. 1993 Nonfatal Cuyamaca State Park San Diego Female 10 yrs
April 1994 Fatal Auburn state Recreation Area El Dorado Female 40 yrs
Aug. 1994 Nonfatal Mendocino County (remote) Mendocino Male 50  yrs
Aug. 1994 Nonfatal Mendocino Coutny (remote) Mendocino Female 50 yrs
Dec. 1994 Fatal Cuyamaca State Park San Diego Female 56 yrs
March 1995 Nonfatal Mt. Lowe (San Gabriel Mtns) Los Angeles Male 27 yrs
Jan. 2004 Fatal Whiting Ranch Regional Park Orange Male 35 yrs
Jan. 2004 Nonfatal Whiting Ranch Regional Park Orange Female 30 yrs
Jan. 2004 Nonfatal Sequioa National Forest Tulare Female 28 yrs
Jan. 2007 Nonfatal Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Humboldt Male 70 yrs
Jan. 2012 Nonfatal Confluence of Shady Creek and Yuba River Nevada Male 63 yrs

*Note: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife defines a mountain lion attack as physical contact between a human and mountain lion resulting in phsyical injury or death of a person. An attack is verified when a physician, law enforcement officer or CDFW personnel determines the injuries were caused by a mountain lion. According to historical reports, four additional fatal incidents involving six victims occurred around the turn of the previous century. Furthermore, two additional incidents have been reported by the media as attacks. However, they do not fit the criteria of verifiable attacks on humans and were not confirmed. One incident involved a turkey hunter who was camouflaged and calling for turkeys when a mountain lion approached from behind. Immediately after the mountain lion confronted the hunter and realized that the hunter was not a turkey, the lion ran away. This is not judged to be an attack on a human. Every indication suggests that if the hunter had not been camouflaged and calling like a turkey, the mountain lion would have avoided him. The other incident on the Los Padres National Forest was described as a mountain lion attack on a boy near a stream. However, the alleged injuries were not verified by a physician, law enforcement officer or CDFW personnel.

Click here to see an interactive graphic on mountain lion incidents

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Marnette Federis

Former Digital News Editor

Marnette Federis was a digital news editor at Capital Public Radio. Her journalism experiences include stints as a reporter, videographer and Web producer at traditional print outlets, digital-only publications and a television station.  Read Full Bio 

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