Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Mountain lions have been sighted at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. (O.C. Parks / February 11, 2014)

Mountain lion sightings have been reported at an Orange County park where a 35-year-old cyclist was mauled to death along a popular trail in 2004.

Officials said Monday night that they had stepped up trail monitoring and posted signs at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, where people have recently reported  mountain lion sightings. 

The park remains open, but people are urged to be vigilant and stay on park trails, officials with O.C. Parks said.

PHOTOS: Mountain lions need room to roam

"Minors should be accompanied by adults at all times," officials said in a statement.

Officials said wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are assisting parks personnel with the investigation of the sightings and monitoring the area in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Additional trail cameras have also been installed.

After the 2004  attack, deputies shot and killed a 110-pound mountain lion that they said was responsible for killing Mark Reynolds, whose body was found on a trail in the rugged hillside recreational area.

Last week, a homeless man was apparently attacked by a mountain lion in Perris, officials said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated lacerations and puncture wounds at the base of his skull, injuries consistent with a mountain lion attack.

Saliva tests taken from the Perris scene were inconclusive, state officials said.

Since 1986, at least 14 verified mountain lion attacks on humans have been reported in California, officials said. 

Orange county officials said sightings can be reported to (949) 923-2245.

 

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robert.lopez@latimes.com

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