There's no doubt mountain lions live up in the Santa Ynez mountains, and wander into urban areas--even downtown Santa Barbara. Every few years, there's a report of a mountain lion on campus in the very early morning, typically somewhere around the baseball field. We haven't picked one up on our trail cams yet. And we don't encourage sticking around to take a photo if you happen to see one (which is very unlikely)! Instead, be loud, wave your arms, and slowly back away. Visit this website and this website to learn more about research on these elusive carnivores in southern California.
Signs of a California Winter
Sycamore leaves blown into bones
of mustard weed.
Wild cucumber, vining
blossoms across the path.
Soap plant rippling its green reaches;
first red buds of poison oak.
Sourgrass, its tart shine,
and gophers heaving fresh, damp earth.
Orion giving ear to coyote,
that mighty hunter.
The tawny tail of a mountain lion,
disappearing into the trees.