Surveillance video shows what appears to be a mountain lion wandering through the parking lot of an Atascadero business over the weekend.
In the video, the animal can be seen roaming near a boat in the parking lot of Jet Boat Performance Parts off Sycamore Road, which is within city limits, early Sunday morning.
The California Department of Fish & Wildlife says prior to Monday, it had not received any recent reports of mountain lions in the Atascadero area, but anyone who may see one is asked to report it on the department’s website.
Wildlife experts say do not run away, crouch or scream in a high pitch if you do come into contact with a mountain lion but instead, stay calm, slowly back away, yell in a deep voice or hit the panic button on your car alarm.
It’s also advised to make yourself look larger by waving a tree branch or walking stick.
Fish & wildlife says sometimes mountain lions will come into city limits to eat.
“That’s why we tell people not to feed deer in the city limits because the mountain lion's favorite thing is to eat and the things they are going to eat the most is a deer. You feed the deer, you are attracting mountain lions into your neighborhood,” says Lt. Matthew Gill.
Lieutenant Gill also says this is a time of year when mountain lion sightings are more likely as there are not as many food resources, but it is rare for them to be spotted in city limits, especially during the day.