Mountain lion sighting sparks trail closure in Tucson

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TUCSON, Ariz. --  A reported mountain lion sighting has prompted forest officials to close a portion of a trail in the Catalina Mountains.

According to the Associated Press, Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel said on Friday that the trail was closed after officials received reports that the mountain lion wasn't acting like a "wild" lion. She said the lion was out in daylight, which is unusual because the animals hunt mostly at night, and did not appear to fear humans.

West Fork Trail is part of the Arizona Trail, and goes by popular destination Hutch's Pool.

Entry is prohibited into the intersection of West Fork Trail and Cathedral Rock Trail, as well as the intersection of West Fork Trail and Sabino Rock Trail. The area will remain closed until June 7.

While it's not known if the mountain lion has rabies, it is a concern. Last May, a rabid mountain lion attacked a group of campers in the Tonto National Forest in Gila County.

Rabid animals can become extremely aggressive, showing no fear of people or other animals. Other symptoms include abnormal behavior like nocturnal animals being out during the day.

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, summer is the peak period for mountain lion kitten births.