News Details

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and O’Neill Regional Park Reopen Following Mountain Lion Investigation

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and closed areas of O’Neill Regional Park reopened Tuesday following closures Friday, Sept. 23 due to multiple mountain lion sightings in the area.

OC Parks rangers and game wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife continued their investigations throughout the weekend and found no further evidence of mountain lion activity in either park. State wildlife officials recommended Tuesday that the parks resume regular operations at that time.

Both parks reopened, but visitors are advised to remain alert to potential hazards in these parks and whenever visiting wilderness areas.

If you see a mountain lion:

  • Make yourself look large, make noise, throw rocks and do not turn your back to the animal. Do not run.
  • Call 911 (emergency), the O’Neill Park office (949) 923-2260 (business hours) or OC Parks dispatch at (562) 594-7232 (after hours) to report the sighting.
  • If possible, provide the time and location of the sighting, and a description including the animal’s size, color and behavior.

Friday’s closures came after sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and O’Neill Regional Park.

OC Parks rangers investigated multiple reported mountain lion sightings at O'Neill Regional Park Thursday, Sept. 22. Friday, Sept. 23, wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife joined the investigation and recommended closing the western area of the park as a precaution.

An additional sighting was reported at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park midday Sept. 23, and wildlife officials recommended closing that park as well.

The O’Neill closure included the Vedanta Wilderness Area, Eagle Grove Day Use Area, Live Oak and connecting trails. The Mesa Day Use Area, Arroyo Trabuco and campgrounds remained open.

The sightings at O’Neill Regional Park followed three sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on Monday, Sept. 19. Rangers and game wardens investigated those sightings and park rangers placed warning signs at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Please see our mountain lion flier for more information about what to do if you encounter one.