A mountain lion was reportedly seen near the 1100 block of 7th Avenue South on Tuesday night in Brookings.
Officials learned of the sighting Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m. after a local resident notified law enforcement that his personal surveillance camera captured the large cat walking through his back yard.
Brookings Animal Control and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks were also notified. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning officers had been in the area since daylight and had not seen a mountain lion.
These predators rarely approach humans, but it’s best to be prepared in case of an emergency.
To ensure that chances of conflict are minimized, residents are encouraged to be vigilant of their surroundings when engaged in outside activities. Parents should supervise the children when playing outside. Pet owners should keep their pets on leash when out walking, both in neighborhoods and on area trails.
Brookings Animal Control offers these tips:
- Don’t approach the mountain lion.
- Give the wild animal a path to escape (i.e., don’t trap or corner it).
- Stay calm, move slowly.
- If possible, back away safely. But, don’t turn your back to the mountain lion or start running.
- Raise your arms or backpack to appear larger.
- If children are with you, lift them up to keep them from running.
- If you are being attacked, fight back. These big cats have been successfully driven off with bare hands or rocks. Try to remain on your feet or get back up if knocked down. Again, do not engage the animal physically unless you absolutely have to.
Anyone observing a mountain lion or other wild animal in the area is asked to contact Brookings Police at (605) 692-2113.