Two mountain lions spotted in Sebastopol

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Two small mountain lions were spotted in downtown Sebastopol this week, prompting an advisory from the Sebastopol Police Department.

The animals were reported near Healdsburg Avenue and North Main Street around midnight on Tuesday.

Because mountain lion sightings are not uncommon in Sonoma County, knowing how to respond safely to a mountain lion is important.

Here’s how to respond to a mountain lion, according to the National Park Service:

  • Stay calm and do not approach the mountain lion. Give it a way to escape.

  • Do not run from the mountain lion as it will stimulate its instinct to chase.

  • If you have small children with you, pick them up if you spot a mountain lion.

  • Do not crouch or bend over so that you will not appear to the mountain lion to be prey.
    If the mountain lion moves in your direction or acts aggressively:

  • Attempt to look intimidating. Raise your arms and open your jacket. Speak in a loud, low and firm voice.

  • If the mountain lion isn’t intimidated, start throwing anything within your reach in its direction (not at it, though). Do not crouch or turn your back to grab items to throw, and do not injure the mountain lion.

If the mountain lion continues in your direction:

  • Start throwing things at the mountain lion.

If the mountain lion attacks you:

  • Fight back.

  • Try to remain standing and fight back with sticks, jackets, garden tools or even your bare hands.

Always remember to report incidents involving mountain lion spottings or attacks immediately after to local law enforcement.

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