Mountain lion M-317 spotted on Laguna Beach streets

Two pictures of a mountain lion, walking on a sidewalk and stopping at a storefront
Mountain lion M317 was spotted at 1:30 a.m. Monday on the 600 block of South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.
(city of Laguna Beach)
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Laguna Beach officials are warning residents to be alert after a male mountain lion was spotted walking in town Sunday night.

Officials have been tracking the mountain lion, known as MS-317 for the last two weeks in the Aliso Woods Canyon area.

Angelenos can’t help but see themselves in P-22. He’s carved out a life in a crowded city. And though he’s still handsome for his advanced age, he’s terminally single.

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The big cat was spotted at 11:30 p.m. near Catalina and Calliope streets, city officials said in a social media post Monday. Laguna Beach police officers later saw the mountain lion at 1:30 a.m. on the 600 block of South Coast Highway, between Cleo and Legion streets.


In all incidents, the animal demonstrated an appropriate fear of humans, even as it walked on city sidewalks and peered into storefront windows.

A sedated juvenile male mountain lion lies strapped in near a blanket.
A juvenile male mountain lion tried to enter an Irvine hair salon on March 22 before it was captured and sedated. The same cat, M317, was seen Sunday night and early Monday on the streets of Laguna Beach.
(Irvine Police Department)

This late-night stroll through Laguna Beach neighborhoods was not M317’s only Orange County public appearance. Media outlets reported the 113-pound cougar was the same mountain lion seen barreling through an Irvine shopping complex on March 23.

In that incident, which took place shortly after noon, the 21-month-old cat got stuck inside an office building before eventually being tranquilized and ultimately released back into the wild, the Los Angeles Times reported.

M317 was also seen last month by Mission Viejo residents near the Arroyo Trabuco Trail, according to an April 21 CBS Los Angeles report.

Laguna Beach city officials are working with O.C. Parks and researchers from the University of California, Davis, to monitor the animal’s whereabouts. Officials warn residents to be aware of their surroundings, walk with others, wear bright and contrasting clothing and avoid jogging or biking during low-light conditions.

The 113-pound lion was tranquilized before it was ultimately returned to the wild, deep in Orange County’s canyon country.

March 23, 2022

Children should be supervised and kept within arm’s reach, officials indicated, and pets should be kept indoors or on a secure leash while out on a walk. If people encounter wildlife, they are advised to give the animal time and space to back away and to not approach it.

In the case of a mountain lion encounter, walkers should appear as large as possible and avoid crouching down. Residents who see a mountain lion in a public or residential area are advised to call Laguna Beach Police at (949) 497-0701.