Cottonwood boy, 12, reports mountain lion encounter
COTTONWOOD — A 12-year-old boy met a mountain lion while hiking in a forest area west of Chuckwalla Drive, which is west of Dr. Daniel Bright School in the Verde Village.
The encounter was reported Sunday, Nov. 19, around 2:30 p.m. When the animal seemed to linger near the boy, he called Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Cottonwood Police Department was notified of the situation. Using GPS coordinates, officers Austin Perez and Zebediah Shoemaker plotted his location and started searching the area before YCSO arrived.
According to Cottonwood PD, the officers found the boy unharmed and led him out of the forest.
“Although the mountain lion was not directly observed by the responding officers, its presence was considered a likely scenario due to the juvenile's familiarity with the area and the nature of his report,” Sgt. Cody Savage reported in a Monday news release.
Cottonwood PD noted the boy “demonstrated remarkable calmness” during his call to emergency services and in providing crucial information that led to his location.
CPD’S Safety Tips for Hikers:
Hike in groups and make noise to reduce the chance of surprising wildlife.
If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run. Instead, stand tall, wave your arms, and speak loudly.
Always inform someone about your hiking plans and expected return time.
Information provided by Cottonwood Police Department.