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Protective Services

Mountain Lion Sightings

Mountain Lion Adult Mountain Lion Cub
Mountain Lion Adult Mountain Lion Cub

Updated 7/28/2015:

The on-going drought in California is having a noticeable impact of wildlife. Animals are seeking accessible water sources and this quest is leading to more frequent sightings on the LBNL site. Recently there have been reports of mountain lion sightings on the Lab site as well as on the UC Berkeley Campus. All Lab personnel are asked to exercise caution especially during off hours as mountain lions are usually more active at dawn, dusk and at night.

As a precaution, the use of isolated stairs and walkways at dusk, night, or dawn is discouraged. To limit an interaction with a mountain lion, avoid hiking or jogging in the undeveloped areas around the Lab alone or at dawn, dusk, or night. For mountain lion sightings, please call 6999. If you feel your safety or the safety of others is threatened please call 911 immediately.

LBNL Security personnel are always available to escort staff or visitors to any on-site location, after hours.  To request service please contact Blackberry Gate at extension 4050.

For more information go to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more information:


Information for LBNL employees & guests

A few mountain lions are known to inhabit the East Bay Hills between the Caldecott Tunnel and San Pablo. While sightings are relatively infrequent, there are occasional reports of a mountain lion on the Berkeley Lab premises or the surrounding UC property. Repeated sightings in one area usually indicate that the animal is feeding on a deer carcass, which may take a week to consume.

The information on this page provides general guidance on safe practices in areas inhabited by mountain lions and humans.

Whom to call?

Call Security x6999 to report all sightings. The Security Officer will record the sighting and observe the area of the sighting. The officer will provide escort assistance to the caller's vehicle or another destination if requested. The officer will not attempt to take any action to provoke the animal. All employees should follow the guidance below on what to do or not do.

What to do and what not to do:

If you have plans to be in the hills east of the Berkeley Campus, we ask that you please be careful and keep the recent sightings in mind. If you should encounter a mountain lion, the California Department of Fish and Game suggests the following:

DO NOT HIKE ALONE: Go in groups, with adults supervising children.

KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU: Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.

DO NOT APPROACH A LION: 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 with out bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

DO NOT CROUCH DOWN OR BEND OVER: A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. Avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED: A hiker in Southern California used a rock to fend off a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.

Please direct questions and comments about this web page to Site Access [email protected].

Photographs and Information courtesy of the State of California, Department of Fish & Game.