Mountain lion attacks are on the rise. Of the fifty recorded attacks in the past 100 years, most of the attacks have occurred in the last twenty years. And most attacks have been in states that no longer allow mountain lion hunting such as California.
Mountain lions will continue to thrive and increase in numbers. If you are going to be in mountain lion country, you should be aware of some life-saving facts about the them. Mountain lions consider anything on four legs fair game, but the sight of an unnaturally erect animal results in some confusion on the part of the beast… so emphasize that. Appear as large as you possibly can by spreading your arms and standing on your tip-toes.
70% of mountain lion attacks were on children and in recent years, that figure has climbed to 90%. If a child is present in a mountain lion encounter, the child should be picked up by an adult, while bending at the knees to maintain an erect position.
If a mountain lion attack is unavoidable, the best recommendation is to “Fight Back! Never run!” Running can trigger an instinct to chase. Escape by running is impossible.
If you don’t have a firearm with you (gasp), a large stick or rock may help your chances. However, picking them up from the ground should be done quickly and carefully. Statistics show that cases where rocks and sticks, even fishing rods and fists, have prevented serious injury or death in lion conflicts.
In all cases, you should constantly face the animal. Retreating, without turning your back may be a good option.
A determined house cat can rip you to shreds and there’s no way you can retaliate in time to prevent serious injury… So just imaging what a mountain lion can do. Be careful out there.