Photo by Alexander Hayes
Wildlife is alive at Pepperdine. And that’s not just the occasional deer on the hill watching you at the shuttle stop or prancing around in Rho parking lot. Rather, there have been two confirmed bobcat sightings and one mountain lion sighting on our campus.
Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Robert McKelvy wrote in an email that, “From Jan. 1, 2014 through Feb. 10, 2015 DPS officers responded to 124 animals calls, which included dogs, birds, snakes, rodents, insects, bobcats, mountain lions and other types of animals. Not all of these reports were confirmed because the animal often left the area immediately.” Specifically, two of those calls were regarding bobcats, according to McKelvy.
One particular bobcat sighting was captured by Graphic members on Jan. 21. There are many preventative and safety precautions that Pepperdine urges its students to take.
The same day as the bobcat sighting, there was a mountain lion spotting. In an email sent out Jan. 21, DPS shared some safety reminders about mountain lions from the Emergency Preparedness Guide. A few of those tips included:
- If you see a mountain lion, maintain eye contact and back away slowly. Do not run; the lion’s instinct will be to chase you. Appear as large, loud and powerful as possible, and yell and throw stones.
- If there are children or small pets present, pick them up immediately.
- Do not approach a mountain lion. Allow plenty of space between you and the mountain lion so it can escape.
- If attacked, fight back. Under no circumstances should you fall to the ground or roll into a fetal position. Hit as hard as possible, especially around the animal’s head. If you are attacked from behind, try to reposition yourself to meet the cat face to face.
- After an attack, seek prompt medical attention. In addition to any injuries you might sustain, mountain lions can carry rabies.
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