November 9, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – Jamacha Elementary School was locked down for several hours today after an area resident reported seeing a mountain lion nearby this morning. The school is located at 2962 Jamul Drive in the Rancho San Diego area of El Cajon. View a map.
“As a precaution, our Superintendent said it would be wise to lock the gates and not let children leave unattended,” said a school employee who asked that her name not be published. “Our principal did call home as an emergency communications to all parents to let them know what was going on.”
Last week, East County Magazine readers Paul and Deanna Stevens reported that a dog in their neighborhood had been mauled by what they believed was a mountain lion on Steele Canyon Road, as ECM previously reported. A neighbor’s turkey was also eaten by a predator that scaled a five-foot fence.
EHow.com offers tips on how to protect yourself against an attack.
• Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn, when lions are most active.
• Make a lot of noise when hiking so you won't surprise a lion.
• Keep children close when hiking in mountain lion country; most mountain lion attacks are made against children.
• Keep pets on leashes while hiking.
• Avoid approaching a mountain lion if you see one in the distance -- it may just be curious about you. Most lions avoid confrontation, so give it an opportunity to slip away.
• Be prepared for a possible attack if a mountain lion is nearby, staring at you aggressively and crouching or hiding.
• Stay calm and don't run if you're faced with a possible attack. Take out any weapons or deterrents (such as pepper spray), or look around for rocks and sticks.
• Raise your hands or hold things above your head to make yourself appear larger. Pick children up off the ground, but don't crouch or bend over if you can help it.
• Talk or yell loudly and slowly back away, maintaining eye contact with the mountain lion.
• Fight back aggressively with weapons and deterrents if you're attacked, all the while trying to remain standing.