Odessa Animal Control urging calm with reports of mountain lion at Odessa park

Odessa Animal Control urging calm with reports of mountain lion at Odessa park

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - There have now been three reported sightings of a mountain lion at Comanche Trail Park in Odessa in the last 24 hours.

The Odessa Animal Control said there might be numerous reasons for the rise in sightings, one of them being construction. Field operations manager Joe Barreraz said they received two reports of sightings on Thursday and the third one on Friday morning.

He said they have not got their hands on the animal yet, but it's not surprising that it has been sighted around the area and that it's not that big of a deal.

"We think because we live in the city, that things aren't allowed in the city limits," said Barreraz. "But we have to understand that these animals were here first and this is their natural habitat. So sometimes there's different animals and breeds of things that people bring in that aren't indigenous to this area. But such as a mountain lion or bobcat, they can make their way toward us."

Barreraz went on to say that what people saw may not even be a mountain lion because the only evidence they have are paw prints and droppings. But Odessa Animal Control is patrolling the area to get their own eyes on the animal. Barreraz said if it is a big cat, it probably came to the area looking for something to eat but that nearby construction could have caused the change in location.

"It just depends," said Barreraz. "Basically if it came to this area looking for food, it may still be there. It may have come up from further south looking for food or its natural habitat could've been disturbed by construction or something like that. Depending on what their home range may be, it may be seen within the next two or three weeks, it could be seen today or tomorrow. It just depends on the cat, if it's going to stick around or not."

They say if you see the animal to not run, make yourself big and call animal control at (432) 368-3527 as soon as possible.

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