Update – Mountain Lion Sighting Near Malibu Campus

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A mountain lion was spotted last night at 12:17 AM on Seaver Drive near the Thornton Administrative Center and reported to Public Safety.

Pepperdine officials place the highest priority on the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. To that end, officials share confirmed mountain lion sightings near the Malibu campus to ensure the University community is informed of, but not overly alarmed by, the wildlife with whom we share the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the last few weeks, several mountain lion sightings have been reported at the following locations (updates appear in green):

  • March 5 – 12:17 AM – Seaver Drive near the Thornton Administrative Center – Confirmed
  • March 5 – 8:30 PM – Hillside near Facilities Services Pad – Unconfirmed
  • February 27 – 8:10 AM – Drescher Campus Loading Dock – Unconfirmed
  • February 27 – 12:52 AM – Towers Parking Lot – Confirmed
  • February 27 – 12:30 AM – Huntsinger Circle – Confirmed
  • February 27 – 12:13 AM – School of Law Student Parking Lot – Unconfirmed
  • February 26 – 9:04 PM – Intersection of Via de Casa and Via Pacifica – Confirmed
    • The mountain lion approached a Drescher resident and his dog while they were out for a walk. The resident said the animal rapidly approached him from the rear, likely seeking access to his dog, but that the lion did not bite, strike, or snarl at them. The lion fled when the resident kicked at it, though he did not make contact with the animal. It appears that this was one of the young lions described above.
  • February 26 – 8:44 PM – Drescher Campus Parking Lot – Confirmed
  • February 26 – 6:30 PM – ½ mile up the hiking trail off of Chaparral Circle – Unconfirmed
  • February 24 – 11:38 PM – Baxter Drive Park – Confirmed
    • The mountain lion was found near a deer carcass and may return to the area to continue feeding for the next few days. As a precaution, Baxter Drive Park has been temporarily closed. Baxter Park has been reopened. Parents, especially,  are reminded to closely supervise their children.
  • February 24 – 4:00 PM – Heroes Garden – Confirmed
  • February 23 – 7:13 PM – Via Pacifica and Chaparral Circle – Unconfirmed
  • February 23 – 12:45 AM – Thornton Administrative Center – Unconfirmed
  • February 22 – 5:06 PM – Tiner Court – Confirmed
  • February 21 – 9:10 PM – Lovernich – Unconfirmed
  • February 19 – 12:45 AM – President’s and Seaver Drive Intersection – Confirmed
  • February 17 – 4:15 AM – Center for Communication and Business Parking Lot – Unconfirmed

Confirmed sightings are those seen directly by University officials or with photo/video documentation.

National Parks Service biologists, with whom the University works closely following mountain lion sightings, have studied mountain lion behavior in the Santa Monica Mountains for more than 15 years. They continue to assure University officials they see no elevated risk in the lion behavior we are experiencing. Nevertheless, it is very important that all members of the Pepperdine community remain vigilant and follow best practices. University officials will continue to monitor this matter and advise the community to remain alert to wildlife on campus.

Please remember:

  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone, especially from dusk until dawn when mountain lions are most active.
  • Remember Public Safety security escorts are available on the Malibu campus 24/7 by calling Public Safety Dispatch at (310) 506-4442.
  • If you see a mountain lion on or near the Malibu campus, please report the incident to Public Safety at (310) 506-4441.
    • If safe to do so, please take a picture and/or video and send it to Public Safety via the LiveSafe app.

As a reminder, if you encounter a mountain lion:

  • Respect the animal.
  • Maintain eye contact and move away slowly.
  • Do NOT run. Running will trigger the mountain lion’s instinct to chase you.
  • Appear as large, loud, and powerful as possible.
  • If there are small children or pets present, pick them up immediately. Additionally do NOT leave them unattended outside.
  • Do not approach the mountain lion; leave space for the cat to escape.
  • In the unlikely event of an attack, fight back. Do not fall to the ground or roll into the fetal position.