Officials at the Living Desert urged locals to stay alert and keep pets inside, especially at night, because a mountain lion has been sighted near the zoo.

The mountain lion was last seen early Friday morning, according to Stacey Johnson, the Living Desert's president. People are not typically prey for mountain lions, Johnson said.

``We encourage people to be observant and alert, but not to be worried,'' Johnson said.

People should keep pets inside, particularly at night, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Living Desert is home to a female mountain lion and the roaming one was male, so zookeepers knew it was from the wild. Last Friday, staff shut down the zoo for a short while and called Palm Desert police.