(October 8, 2010) There have been three separate sightings this week of what appears to be a mountain lion along the hiking trail area on the north side of Frisco Commons Park, located at 8000 McKinney Rd. The latest sighting was late this morning by a City of Frisco parks employee. The city employee says the animal was not aggressive and ran away.
Frisco Commons Park remains open, and parks management reminds residents and visitors that operating hours for all city parks are from dawn until dusk. Signs will be posted around the park alerting park goers of the recent sightings and you are urged to use caution in the area.
While there have been reports of bobcat sightings in Frisco in recent years, all three people who saw the animal along the Frisco Commons Park trail say it was not a bobcat, but a mountain lion. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have been notified and will come out to look for physical evidence to determine what type of animal is in the area. Frisco Animal Control officers are also investigating.
“Animal control staff has walked the area, and could not find evidence that a wild animal is living in the hiking trail area of Frisco Commons Park,” said Greg Carr, Animal Control Administrator. “More likely the animal is passing through. Staff will continue to monitor the area to make sure a wild animal is not sticking around.”
The city will not be setting traps because most wildlife experts agree mountain lions are difficult to trap.
According to state wildlife officials, mountain lions are solitary animals, and attacks on humans are rare. Only four reports of mountain lion attacks on humans have been reported in Texas since 1980. Wild animals often use creeks to travel through cities. A female mountain lion has a range of up to 80 to 100 square miles and a male has a range of up to 200 square miles.
Here are some things Texas Parks and Wildlife suggests you can do should you encounter a mountain lion:
· Pick up small children to prevent them from running and triggering a rush or attack.
· Stay calm, talk calmly, and slowly back away, keeping eye contact with the mountain lion. Do not run or turn your back.
· Carry a sturdy walking stick with you. Do what you can to appear larger by raising your arms or waving the stick.
· If the lion is aggressive, throw rocks or sticks, and speak firmly and loudly.
· Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions can be driven off by fighting back.
Read more information about mountain lions from Texas Parks and Wildlife online.