SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Neary Lagoon is a quiet and scenic place enjoyed by both bird watchers and runners. But sometimes they find themselves too close with nature. On Tuesday afternoon two residents said they saw a mountain lion heading straight into the park.
"We heard it actually. But we weren't too sure what it was," said nearby resident Yanet Rivera.
Rivera lives in the apartments right next to the park where the mountain lion was spotted. She often walks along the trails with her daughter and her dog.
"Initially I was scared, but I guess it was hunting for food so I just knew to stay away," said Rivera.
The City of Santa Cruz has posted signs outside the park, warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. If they come face to face with a mountain lion, the sign tells residents to make noise, fight back, and don't run.
But this isn't the first time a mountain lion has been spotted at Neary Lagoon. Back in May of 2013 one was tranquilized, and then a month later there was another sighting.
While some chose to stay away, others say they're not scared at all.
"It's good for people to realize at times that there are other things out in the world and we're not necessarily always at the top of the food chain," said avid nature walker Jim Oakden.
Oakden enjoys his nature walk, and says it's great to see wild life walking about, as long as you stay alert.
"Mountain lions are an integral part of the whole eco-system here. They keep the deer under control," said Oakden.
Fish and Wildlife have been notified of the sighting. Residents are advised to secure all pets and children.