Mountain Lion Sightings


Mountain lions can be found anywhere there are deer. Along the thick riparian habitat of the Sacramento River, mountain lions are often seen. Always be aware of your surrounding.

Immediately report all encounters or attacks by calling the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) 24-hour dispatch center (916) 445-0045 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Sacramento NWR Complex at (530) 934-2801. In an emergency, call 911.  

Mountain lions tend to be elusive and typically avoid people. But when visiting the Complex, it is highly recommended that you: 

  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone. Go in groups.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
  • Keep children close to you. Animals seem especially drawn to children; keep children within sight at all times.
  • Do not approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase.
  • Do not crouch down or bend over. A human standing does not resemble a mountain lion's natural prey.
  • Fight back if attacked. Mountain lions usually try to bite the head or neck; try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.
  • Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. If wearing a jacket, take it off and wave it around. Pick up small children. Wave arms slowly, speak firmly in a loud voice, throw rocks or other objects.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911. 

More information about mountain lions from CDFW