| Danville Mayor Candace Andersen told folks at her Mayor's Morning gathering today that there have been no further signs of the mountain lion that was spotted near Osage Station Park around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
"The Fish and Game Department put cameras out," Andersen reported. "But all they caught were raccoons."
She said the town's emergency system kicked into gear after the sighting and every resident in the area was notified. Also orange notices were posted in the park, and it has been closed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
The maintenance workers, who saw the mountain lion near the creek, were interviewed by the police and gave a detailed description of what they saw, said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo, so there is no doubt that it was a mountain lion. They said it weighed about 90-100 pounds.
"In a community like this - with a lot of open space - it is important to make people aware," said Calabrigo.
He suggested that people may not want to walk alone early in the morning or at dusk.
A woman at the gathering said she had seen a mountain lion on the trail near Lawrence Road last year but did not report it. Alamo Creek runs through that area.
On Tuesday morning, administrators at Charlotte Wood Middle School next to the park alerted Danville police and the two neighboring elementary schools, Greenbrook and John Baldwin.
"As soon as we got wind of this we had all of our students who were outside come in to the confined area of campus," said Terry Koehne, San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokesman.
When police arrived at the school they searched the area but couldn't find the mountain lion. They did, however, find a few opossum carcasses, leading them to confirm that the animal had been there.
The mountain lion didn't display any type of aggressive behavior, police said. In general the species is quiet, solitary and elusive. Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. The mountain lion is also known as a cougar or a puma.
There is a 6-foot-high fence separating the creek and the school. Koehne said it's highly unlikely the animal could get over the fence.
"Did we think it posed an immediate threat? No. But we always err on the side of caution," he said.
Police provided increased supervision at all three schools throughout the rest of the day. Teachers called the parents of any students who had walked or biked to school that day and offered to keep the students on campus until an adult arrived to pick them up.
Police also communicated with nearby residents, contacted homeowners associations, and distributed informational fliers. The California Department of Fish and Game will be monitoring the area to try to locate the animal.
"Our main concern was trying to make sure that students felt safe and secure," Koehne said.
There was to be increased supervision for the remainder of the week. Parents were asked to encourage children who typically walk or bike to school along or near the creek to take an alternate route.
Koehne said to the best of his knowledge there have been no animal sightings of this kind before.
"It's very, very rare," he said.
* Do not approach a mountain lion.
* Call 911.
* Do not hike, bike or jog alone.
* Avoid walking or jogging when mountain lions are most active, at dawn, dusk and night.
* Keep a close watch on small children.
* If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects.
* If attacked, fight back.
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