Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mountain lions

A couple of my running buddies saw mountain lions in our area. With that in mind I would like to post a quick reminder to be cautious out there in the wilderness.

Mountain lions have a distinctive "M" shaped pad, and their claw marks do not show in the track. Walking, the lion's hind foot steps in his fore track, creating overlapping patterns.

Don’t approach a cougar. Most cougars want to avoid humans. Give a cougar the time and space to steer clear of you.

Avoid hiking alone, especially between dusk and dawn, when lions normally do their hunting. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to reduce the chances of surprising a lion.

Never run past or from a cougar. This may trigger their instinct to chase. Make eye contact. Stand your ground. Pick up small children without, if possible, turning away or bending over.

Never bend over or crouch down. Doing so causes humans to resemble four-legged prey animals. Crouching down or bending over also makes the neck and back of the head vulnerable.

If you encounter a cougar, make yourself appear larger, more aggressive. Open your jacket, raise your arms, throw stones, branches, etc., without turning away. Wave raised arms slowly, and speak slowly, firmly, loudly to disrupt and discourage predatory behavior.

Try to remain standing to protect head and neck and, if attacked, fight back with whatever is at hand (without turning your back)—people have utilized rocks, jackets, garden tools, tree branches, and even bare hands to turn away cougars.

Hike with a good walking stick; this can be useful in warding off a lion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brrrr...glad to be out of cougar danger!!! Therefore we have bears here as I recently learnt!!!