Mountain Lion Sighting on Campus 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 10:15am

TO: Sonoma State University Community
FR: Nader Oweis, Chief of Police

Dear Seawolf Community,

This morning, October 27, a mountain lion was spotted at the north entrance of Sonoma State University, near the Green Music Center. It was last seen walking westbound away from the campus.

We are informing the campus community about this sighting to ensure everyone who is present on campus remains safe and vigilant. This mountain lion was not, to our knowledge, spotted near the residential communities or on other parts of the campus.  

If you do see a mountain lion on campus, here are some recommendations about what you should do:

  • Stay calm. Hold your ground or back away slowly. Face the lion and stand upright.
  • Do not approach a lion. Never approach a mountain lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up, if possible, so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.
  • Do not crouch down or bend over. Biologists surmise mountain lions don't recognize standing humans as prey. On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal.

If the mountain lion moves in your direction or acts aggressively:

  • Do all you can to appear intimidating. Attempt to appear larger by raising your arms and opening your jacket if you are wearing one. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.

If looking bigger doesn't scare the mountain lion away, without crouching or turning your back, start throwing stones, branches, or whatever material you have accessible in its direction — toward it, but not directly at it. Aim for the ground in front of it. 

If you see a mountain lion, please notify the Sonoma State Police Department by calling 707-664-4444 as soon as you are in a safe location and tell our dispatchers where you saw it.

As a reminder, dial or text 911 to report any emergency, dangerous situations, or suspicious activity.