Mountain lion safety: What you should know

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SAN ANTONIO - Wardens with Texas Parks & Wildlife want to make sure people know what to do to stay safe if they come in contact with a mountain lion.

"That would freak me out. Yes, yes, yes for sure," said Jackie Rios.

People who live and work on the city's northwest side are on high alert after word spread monday about a mountain lion spotted near UTSA.

The wild animal was reportedly seen in the woods near the East Campus Lot not far from the Valero Greenway Trails.

"It's a little scary, so I may be a little bit more cautious,” Rios said.

Jackie Rios runs at Valero Greenway Trails regularly and has seen wild animals along the way.

"Deer, yes, peacocks, occasionally, roadrunners ,absolutely. But I have never seen a mountain lion in this area," Rios explained.

News 4 San Antonio flew overhead Monday as campus police patrolled the area.

They continue to work with biologists from Texas Parks & Wildlife.

"There's no need to panic," said Lieutenant Andy Ozuna.

Ozuna says mountain lions usually prey on deer not people.

"That's good to know, that's a little more reassuring but just how hungry is he, that's the problem," Rios said.

Ozuna said, "Mountain lions in particular don't really want to be around people. They stay alone and that's the way they want to be."

He says moutain lion attacks are rare.

There have been only 4 reported attacks on people in all of Texas since 1980; and all of them, in remote areas of West Texas.

"If you come in contact with a mountain lion, first thing you should do is try to remain calm. I know that's hard to do or it could be hard to do and back away," Ozuna said.

Reporter Darian Trotter asked, "Doesn't alarm you? No," Amanda Busbee replied.

Amanda Busbee grew up in a more rural area, full of wild animals.

She says the reported sighting, is not stopping her workout.

"Usually, if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone," Busbee said.

Still, Jackie Rios is not letting down her guard.

"I'm probably going to be a lot more aware of my surroundings," Rios said.

For more information on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, contact Texas Parks & Wildlife.

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