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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicamama, Jul 31, 2008.
Mainly for kids, me...
or am I being a bit of a scardy cat?
I don't think it is unreasonable to take precautions with a mountain lion around. They have been know to attack people.
Although you are more likely to be hit by lightning than to be attacked by a mountain lion but you don't stand out in the middle of a thunderstorm either.
If you have dog I would have it with me to warn me if it is around. A can of bear spray might be a good idea and of course a gun!
I live in cougar territory and spend a lot of time in the outdoors with my children so I've tried to educated myself about how to avoid attack. I found this from a British Columbia nature website and it gives good advice:
Cougars seem to be attracted to children, possibly because their high-pitched voices, small size, and erratic movements make it difficult for cougars to identify them as human and not prey.
· Talk to children and teach them what to do if they encounter a cougar.
· Encourage children to play outdoors in groups, and supervise children playing outdoors.
· Consider getting a dog for your children as an early-warning system. A dog can see, smell, and hear a cougar sooner then we can. Although dogs offer little value as a deterrent to cougars, they may distract a cougar from attacking a human.
· Consider erecting a fence around play areas.
· Keep a radio playing.
· Make sure children are home before dusk and stay inside until after dawn.
· If there have been cougar sightings, escort children to the bus stop in the early morning. Clear shrubs away around the bus stop, making an area with a nine-metre (30 foot) radius. Have a light installed as a general safety precaution.
Your yard and home:
· Do not attract or feed wildlife, especially deer or raccoons. These are natural prey and may attract cougars.
· Roaming pets are easy prey.
· Bring pets in at night. If they must be left out, confine them in a kennel with a secure top.
· Do not feed pets outside. This not only attracts young cougars but also many small animals, such as mice and raccoons, that cougars prey upon.
· Place domestic livestock in an enclosed shed or barn at night.
Hiking or working in cougar country:
· Hike in groups of two or more. Make enough noise to prevent surprising a cougar.
· Carry a sturdy walking stick to be used as a weapon if necessary.
· Keep children close-at-hand and under control.
· Watch for cougar tracks and signs. Cougars cover unconsumed portions of their kills with soil and leaf litter. Avoid these food caches.
· Cougar kittens are usually well-hidden. However, if you do stumble upon cougar kittens, do not approach or attempt to pick them up. Leave the area immediately, as a female will defend her young.
If you meet a cougar:
· Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.
· Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
· Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.
· Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.
· Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.
· Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.
· Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don't crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.
If a cougar behaves aggressively:
· Arm yourself with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat not prey.
· If a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.
Thanks for the info, utahmethodist - good stuff to know. We do have Catamounts in Vermont, but they are very rare and I certainly have never seen one. I'd like to, but from afar...
Many years ago when I lived outside Spokane, Washington there was a local newstory about a little boy who was saved from a cougar by his brave dead. The father punched the cougar in the nose! Honestly, that is a true story. The cougar ran off.
Another thing I just remembered that isn't mentioned in the above info. is that if you're wearing a jacket when you encounter a lion you can unzip it and hold out the sides like "wings" which you can flap while you jump up and down to intimidate the cat.
The good thing is mountain lion attacks on humans are exceedingly rare. They are shy creatures and avoid humans for the most part. Bears are the ones that scare me. And clowns.
Excellent advice... we have cougars here (and have for years though the game commission has always denied it). I'm not one to dispute eyewitness accounts from reliable friends and family members just because the DGIF says it isn't known to be so. I'll be sure to provide this info to my nieces and nephews who are old enough to spend time in the woods alone. Thanks utahmethodist BTW- clowns are definitely creepier than anything walking around in the woods!
Quote:This may have been the case 10 or 20 years ago.
It used to be lawful to hunt cougars with dogs. Really, it was the ONLY way. Big cats are too wary.
Since the banning of dog hunting cat attacks have seen a dramatic increase. Don't kid yourself. Cougars ARE a threat. Personally I'd rather stand in the lightning storm than within 500 yards of a cougar I wasn't aware of. And as other have stated, children are ESPECIALLY at risk, and for the reasons stated.
There was a child attack, not sure where or when, that the childs coat saved her life. She was wearing a coat with a large, thick furry lined hood. Cats attack from behind going for the neck/head. The cat couldn't get a good enough/deep enough bite because of the coat.
Well, if I had a big lion issue in the neighborhood, I think I'd buy a Rhodesian Ridgeback. They are actuallybred to fight that type of predator. However, they also are sight hounds, so wouldn't be safe around the chickens, most likely. http://lionhounds.org/
I agree, clowns are creepy, LOL.
My advice UMMMMMMMM........Move!