Fear of Mountain Lions

Mountain lions, aka cougars or pumas, can be found mostly on the West coast of North America. In recent years their population started to increase again, but please remember that mountain lion encounters in the wild are still very rare. Keep in mind that most of the attacks by mountain lions happen on single hikers, so to protect yourself try to walk in larger groups, keep dogs on the leash and your children close to you.

Just in case you spot a cougar which will not run away, this is what you can do to scare it away:

  • Pretend you are an animal much larger than him.
  • Put your child on your shoulders or your backpack on your head, spread your arms.
  • Make loud, threatening noises and scream.
  • Throw rocks, but do not stay crouching for too long as not to appear too small.
  • If attacked by a puma fight back with all your strength.

Do not let fear of wild animals keep you from hiking in the outdoors and remember that it is 10 more times more likely to be killed by a dog than by a mountain lion.