Cougars On The Prowl
In a recent story that I did about How To Defend Against A Mountain Lion Attack we explained:
Mountain lions a.k.a. cougars use their stealth and leaping ability in attacking. Their exceptionally powerful legs enable them to leap 30 feet from a standstill or 15 feet straight up a cliff, wall or tree.
Stand your ground and avoid your reflex to run. You have absolutely zero chance of outrunning a mountain lion.
Make as much noise as you possibly can by screaming, yelling, stomping your feet and/or clapping your hands. Make yourself appear as big as you possibly can by jumping up and down and waving your arms over your head.
If you are in the backcountry on a hike, periodically look behind you because mountain lions use ambush tactics and often seek a high point in the terrain where they can leap on the back of prey.
Mountain lions frequently hunt at night because their eyesight is six times better than human eyesight at night.
Do everything you can to prevent the cougar from getting at your neck or face by rolling up in a ball and bring your legs up as though in a fetal position.
If a mountain lion does attack, fight with every ounce of energy you have. That is the last thing it will expect.
Mountain lions can jump 20 feet vertically and 40 feet horizontally. They are adept at using terrain features to their best advantage to stalk or ambush prey.
Here are four news stories about mountain lions and mountain lion attacks.
This story is from Kansas City and is about how mountain lions are Expanding Their Territory. They used to roam most of the United States. At one time they were the most widely distributed animal in North America. But in the early 1900s populations were devastated by hunting and a shortage of prey.
A century later mountain lions are colonizing in the Midwest with confirmed sightings in Missouri and Kansas. Conservationists and wildlife experts say that mountain lions don’t appear to be reproducing in either state mostly because they are almost exclusively male.
In Missouri, mountain lions are protected under the wildlife code which prohibits hunting. The same code applies in Kansas.
A number of sightings are unequal across the state line with Missouri more than 50 since 1994 and Kansas only 10.
They seem to migrate from the Dakotas and come across Nebraska. They need wide-open spaces and low human density to begin populating an area.
In Tucson, Arizona on Mount Lemmon the Spencer Canyon campground is closed for the second time in two weeks because of Cougar Sightings. The U.S. Forest Service said the campground will be closed because of reports of a female mountain lion’s mating call. Dogs were brought in to flush out the area. The area of the campground is in the Catalina Mountains-home to mountain lions and bears.
Recently a mountain lion was seen casually strolling through a residential neighborhood and residents reported a Cougar Near A School. A community alert was sent out by the San Mateo Police Department which is charged with the safety of the community during a potential lion sighting. Police searched the area and an officer briefly saw the cat walking north from the school campus but no further sightings have been reported. Police noted that mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare. Those who encounter a mountain lion should not approach it but should stand their ground and do as we suggested above.
Peggy Templer is a huge football fan which is why she named her puppy “Touchdown.” She lives near Fort Bragg in Northern California. Last week she let her puppy out in the side yard of her house. That’s when she heard “Touchdown” scream and the mountain lion growl. The mountain lion had Touchdown completely off the ground in its mouth. Yet the Puppy Survived The Attack. This attack was unusual because most cougar hunting is done at night especially at dusk and dawn.
Cougars have the biggest range of any land animal in the Western Hemisphere from north of the Arctic Circle to the tip of South America. They are termed “stealth predators” because they like to take their prey from behind using surprise, speed and formidable strength to kill. They are meat eaters and will eat anything that is meat including domestic cats, dogs, and raccoons but their main staple food is venison.
Here are some tips from Mike Hart who is a representative of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The first tip that Mr. Hart says is never run, instead, make yourself as big as you can. Stand your ground, raise your arms over your head, stamp your feet, make noise, throw rocks, sticks or stones and do anything you can do to make that lion fear you or at least perceive you as a threat and maintain eye contact at all times.
Right before the lion attacks, it will get down on all fours on its stomach and his ears will be pinned back. When you see that, it means an attack is imminent.
If you are attacked, fight back with every ounce of energy you have and stay on your feet. Once you are off your feet, you lose. People have been known to successfully survive an attack by fighting back.
Never keep food inside your tent when camping in the backcountry. Put everything in bear-proof boxes that latch and always have some bear pepper spray handy. Mountain lions have extremely sensitive noses and dislike bear pepper spray as much as bears do.
Look for a spray that empties the canister in five or six seconds. Get a bear spray with the longest range possible. This Frontiersman brand Bear Spray has a range of 35 feet.
Have you ever seen a mountain lion in the wild? What did you do? Share your experience with us, so that others may learn from you.