Mountain lions (also called cougars or panthers) tend to avoid people. Mountain lion can measure up to 8 feet from their nose to the tip of their ropy tails. Mountain lions may be present and are unpredictable. Be cautious. They have been known to attack without warning. You are advised to stay alert for potential danger
What to do if you encounter a mountain lion.
Stay calm: It’s essential to remain calm and avoid panicking. Keep in mind that mountain lions are generally solitary and elusive animals that typically try to avoid human contact.
Do not approach: Never approach a mountain lion or try to get closer to it. Give the animal plenty of space and try to create distance between yourself and the lion.
Maintain eye contact: If you spot a mountain lion, make sure to maintain eye contact with the animal. Avoid turning your back or running away, as sudden movements may trigger the lion’s instinct to chase.
Make yourself appear larger: Open your jacket, raise your arms, and spread them wide to make yourself appear larger and more intimidating. This can help deter the mountain lion from approaching you.
Speak firmly: Speak loudly and firmly in a confident voice to assert your presence. This can help communicate that you are a human and may deter the lion from approaching. Make noise.
Back away slowly: Slowly and cautiously back away while keeping your eye on the mountain lion. Create distance between yourself and the animal but avoid turning your back or running.
Throw objects: If the mountain lion shows signs of aggression and begins to approach you, you can throw objects such as rocks, sticks, or your backpack to discourage it from coming closer.
Fight back if attacked: In the rare event that a mountain lion attacks you, fight back using any means necessary. Focus your efforts on protecting your head and neck, as these are the most vulnerable areas. Use sticks, rocks, or your bare hands to fend off the lion. Hold your ground.
Other Recommendations and Tips
- Two or more adults are safer than a lone adult.
- Take the encounter seriously.
- Never let kids run ahead of you or fall behind on the trail.
- Pick up your children.
- Keep pets leached and in control.
- Do not play dead.
- Stand close to each other.
- Do not crouch down.
Report the encounter: After a mountain lion encounter, it’s important to report it to local authorities, such as your state’s fish and wildlife agency or park rangers. They can provide valuable information, track the animal’s behavior, and take appropriate action if necessary.