News Details

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and Portions of O’Neill Regional Park Closed for Mountain Lion Investigation

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and day use areas in the western end of O’Neill Regional Park were closed Friday for a mountain lion investigation and will remain closed until further notice.

Park visitors reported multiple mountain lion sightings at O'Neill Regional Park Thursday evening and OC Parks rangers conducted an investigation. Friday morning, wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife joined the investigation and recommended closing the area as a precaution.

Additional sightings were reported at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park midday Friday, and wildlife officials recommended closing that park as well.

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

Thursday’s sightings at O’Neill Regional Park follow three sightings at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on Monday, Sept. 19. Rangers and game wardens investigated those sightings on Monday and Tuesday. Rangers placed warning signs at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and continue to patrol the area.

Visitors to all wilderness areas should always remain alert to potential hazards and report any sightings to the park office at (949) 923-2260.  If you encounter a mountain lion, make yourself look large, make noise, throw rocks and do not turn your back to the animal or run.

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