Mountain lion reports in Weimar-Eden Valley area

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Warmer weather is heating up reports of mountain-lion sightings. One sighting April 6 in the Weimar-Eden Valley area spurred Weimar Hills school officials to alert parents. A resident off Placer Hills Road reported seeing a cougar after coming upon a half-buried deer carcass last week. Jason Holley, state Fish and Game Department wildlife biologist, said Monday that the reports can’t be disputed in an area where mountain lions are often sighted. Residents should not feed deer, Holley added. “It’s like an artificial smorgasbord for mountain lions,” he said. “Not only do the deer bring in predators but they can spread disease.” While no mountain lion attacks have occurred in the area since the 1990s, Harry Morse, a Fish and Game public information officer, said public-safety concerns continue to be a key element in the department’s response. For instance, when a mountain lion is spotted near a school or residence, it’s typical for Fish and Game to get a call and respond. Morse said that at this time of year, more people are outside and active in areas where mountain lions live. So the sightings increase because of man’s presence in cougar country. “It’s still something to be very cautious about,” Morse said. – Gus Thomson