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Signs go up after mountain lion is spotted in Elings Park

Mountain lion Elings Park
John Palminteri
A mountain lion sighting at Elings Park Tuesday is considered rare but other sightings in the region have been reported this year. (Photo: Elings Park)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A rare mountain lion sighting in Elings Park has some Santa Barbara residents on the look out but the fear factor about these sightings in the area appears to have gone down.

Educational signs are up for the public to see around the park.

The sighting was in the grass and tree area across from the baseball fields. A picture was taken but no other sightings have been reported.

"Oh my gosh that's a huge animal," said Laurie Lindop a resident who was at the park with her dog Tuesday.   She was looking at the picture provided to the park from an eyewitness to the mountain lion.
It was walking down a hill across from the baseball fields.

" He looks like he is on the prowl," said Lindop.

The park notified authorities and posted informational signs,  especially in the area where there are dog walkers.

Executive Director Elings Park Dean Noble said,  "we are 240 acres overlooking the Pacific we are more than twice the size of Disneyland. There's a lot of nature here. I didn't know we would ever have a mountain lion but we have only had one sighting so far."

 Lindop said she would love to see the animal, "but I wouldn't want to see it attacking any dogs but I would love to see it loping across the fields." 

In recent months there have also been mountain lion sightings at UC Santa Barbara and in Isla Vista, several times. There was also this one on a porch  in  Mission Canyon and one was spotted crossing the road in San Roque off of Upper State Street.

 Noble said, "there is a world famous mountain lion P-22 who lives completely within the realms of Griffith Park down in Los Angeles.  Maybe this mountain lion got the same idea somehow."

Officials at Elings park say they will educate the public about the sighting but want people to enjoy the large natural setting in an urban area.   "I think generally people in Santa Barbara are pretty adept to live next to nature.  It is a gorgeous environment we are lucky to be here,"  said Noble.

Safety / Santa Barbara- S County

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.