Thursday morning, just before 6:00 in Mammoth, Police officers reported seeing a mountain lion running across Main Street. With the path of the lion leading through the Sierra Valley Sites neighborhood and toward the Motel 6, the fledgling wildlife management group Bear- With-Us put up flyers on Friday afternoon.
The flyers say mountain lion alert, and let residents know that a mountain lion has been sighted in the area. The advice from Bear-With-Us is to keep an eye on pets and children.
At the urging of the Town Council, local residents Marianne O’Connor and Joe Parrino formed Bear With Us to take on the wildlife management after former Mammoth Police Wildlife Officer Steve Searles and the Police Department parted ways.
These issues appeared to be on their way to being worked out recently, as Bear With Us worked to hire Steve Searles and get him back on the job of responding to wildlife calls.
When the mountain lion passed through neighborhoods in town Thursday, Searles says he did not receive any calls from the Police or town officials. When asked Town Manager Rob Clark about this, he had not yet heard a report of a mountain lion, but did say that the informal agreement was to have the Police call Bear With Us on Wildlife calls as needed.
Searles says that mountain lions are elusive, animals that can quickly pull a vanishing act. Had he been called out to the mountain lion sighting, Searles says that he would have tracked the animal with his dog through the city limits, possibly treeing the animal. Then using a zoom lens on a camera, he would take picture to identify the animal and determine its health.
When asked why he thought the Police or the Town did not call him, no comment, was his reply.