OMG, bears and lions in the park!

City warns hikers to be on the watch

Those planning an outing to Bidwell Park when the weather improves may want to keep on the lookout, as they could have some unexpected company.

City of Chico officials issued a warning in response to reported sightings of a mountain lion near the golf course in Upper Park and a black bear near the Chico Creek Nature Center.

In both cases, park-goers should not run away from the creatures. If confronted, the best way to stay safe is to appear as large as possible and to make noise. Other tips when encountering a lion include raising and waving arms or opening a jacket. Throwing rocks and branches is also a way to frighten away the animal.

Those who live near the park are asked to place garbage containers outside only on the day of pickup, to clean outdoor cooking grills and to bring in pet food dishes overnight.