Mountain Lion "WARNING!"
( "Cougar", "Puma", "Panther", "Catamount", Felis
I received the following information from Valerie Zera, who writes
the "In the Saddle" column for the Saturday issue of the Antelope Valley
Press. Valerie is also a member of the Dressage Riders of Antelope
Valley, the California Dressage Society, and the Antelope Valley Unit of
the Backcountry Horsemen of California.
Chuck -- I THOUGHT I heard a mountain lion roar a few days ago, when
riding in the hills to the southeast of 96th St East and Cima Mesa Road.
Jon's brother in law saw a mountain lion saunter past our house about
9:30 am Sunday morning, about 30 feet to the south of the house (about
10 feet from my dog run!)
I have been seeing a lot of tracks in the area that I felt were mountain
lion tracks for some time!
The dryness / scarcity of game may be causing them to come out of
the mountains. I found some info on the California Department of
Fish and Game web site. (See the links listed below)
The following are some good links to information on Mountain Lions
and what to do if confronted by a Mountain Lion.
This is a hot link to Mountain Lion information provided by the
California Department of Fish and Game!
This is a hot link to Mountain Lion information provided by Desert
U.S.A. Magazine, an outstanding on line magazine for anyone interest in
the outdoors! (Great Graphics)
This is a hot link to Mountain Lion Information, "The Ultimate Predator",
Great Site, don't pass this one up! Good Information, Photographs,
This is a hot link to Mountain Lion Information, "How to Travel
Safely in Mountain Lion Country", courtesy of GORP.
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<Click Here To See
Mountain Lion Pictures>
<Click Here To See Mountain Lion Tracks>
<Click Here to See Mountain Lion Scat>
Some of the Do's & Don'ts contained in the above
DO NOT HIKE ALONE:
KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU:
Go in groups, with adults supervising children.
DO NOT APPROACH A LION:
Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that
the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your
sight at all times.
DO NOT RUN FROM A LION:
Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation.
Give them a way to escape.
DO NOT CROUCH DOWN OR BEND OVER:
Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase.
Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small
children with you, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run.
Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning
away from the mountain lion.
DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER:
In Nepal, a researcher studying tigers and leopards watched
the big cats kill cattle and
domestic water buffalo while ignoring humans standing
nearby. He surmised that a human standing up is just not the right shape
for a cat's prey. On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over
looks a lot like a four legged prey animal. If you're in mountain lion
country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking
FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED:
Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing
one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever
you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly
and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain
lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.
A hiker in Southern California used a rock to fend off
a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others have fought back successfully
with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a
mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing
and face the attacking animal.
(Presented by: Chuck Wood's Antelope Valley Web Page)
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