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Ventura Park Closed After Cougar Sighting

June 29, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A mountain lion sighting forced the temporary closure of Ventura's Arroyo Verde Park on Monday, officials said.

Two hikers saw the mountain lion near a trail in a canyon area at the north end of the park about 11 a.m., said Ron Calkins, public works director.

"Two different people saw it, so it was a legitimate sighting," Calkins said.

The hikers immediately notified authorities who evacuated the park, before shutting it down.

No one was hurt, and there were no further sightings reported.

"It didn't show any aggressive behavior," Calkins said of the cougar. "It headed back into the hills when it got scared."

He said park workers were posting signs warning visitors of the sightings. But Calkins said that the park, located off Foothill Road, is expected to reopen this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ventura Police Department at 339-4416.

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