Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions

They are everywhere; from the Yukon to South America, in the desert and in the forest.  Read this article about the creature that is killer and closely related to your house cat.

Mountain lions are also known as cougars, catamounts, mountain cats, panthers, and pumas.  These viscous animals are a problem to our family on our travels.  We all like to stay outside, a lot, and most of the places that we go have lots of them. These are some interesting mountain lion facts- 
  • The mountain lion is everywhere from the South American to the Yukon Territory in Canada.
  • The mountain lion is closer related to the smaller cats, including domestic cat, than to lions.
  • Big horned sheep, moose, deer, and elk are main parts of their diet.
Mountain Lion Attacks-
Mountain lion attacks are rare, but they do happen.  It is best to be prepared in case anything like that ever did.  If you saw a mountain lion you would want to-
  • Make yourself seem as big as possible. This can be done by shouting, holding your arms in the air, and anything else that would make you seem bigger.
  • Fight back with guns, hands, sticks, rocks, and anything else that can be used as a weapon.
  • Pick up small children, but do not bend way over to do it. Try to stay as upright as possible.
You don’t want to-
  • Play dead.
  • Run.  You don’t want to do this because the mountain lion will see catching the person as a game, like a cat and mouse.  
  • Don’t bend over. They like to attack when a person is in that position.
  • Let kids run ahead of the group. It only takes a second for a mountain lion to grab them and go, like what happened to a child and father hiking south of Denver. The boy did not survive.
More helpful information is that mountain lions are most likely to attack in the spring.  That is when all the males are leaving their dens and their mother to go and get their own territory.

Be on guard of what’s behind you.  They tend to sneak up from behind and bite the person’s neck.  When we go on hikes we never have any of the little kids in the back and always look behind us frequently.

Most of the attacks are on young children. 

Also, don’t leave the door of your house open, because the mountain lions can go inside. 
These are some mountain lion attack stories; here's the link for most of the stories.

In Los Angeles, California a man was out biking by himself when a mountain lion ran up to the side of his bike.  He tried to use the bike as a shield and went to the other side of it.  The mountain lion clawed the spokes and chewed on the bike tire.  The man fought it with rocks; it was good enough to beat it off.  The bike rider did get cut and bitten, but he made it out with his life.
(Story gotten from the Camping and Wilderness Survival book)  

An eight year old named Rita Hilsabeck was attacked by a mountain lion at Reno, Nevada.  The attack was not fatal, but she did get a bite on her neck and was being dragged into the woods.  She was saved when her family heard her screams.  The attack happened around 4:45 p.m.

In Seattle, Washington Jon Nostdal was attacked by a mountain lion that refused to release his neck, even when being punched by a man who risked his own life to save him.  It was not fatal. The attack happened around 9:30 p.m. 

A 61 year old man, named David Parker, was attacked by a mountain lion when he went under a rock ledge to get out of the rain.  When it attacked his cheek bone was broken and his jaw was shattered due to getting hit up against a rock.  He finally got a chance to slit its throat with his pocket knife.  The attack was not fatal. It happened around 7:30 p.m. 

Around August 20th, 2014 Kyra Kopanstonsky was stalked by a mountain lion as she hiked at Telluride, Colorado.  It followed her around for about half an hour.  As it followed her, she sang opera to scare it.  It did help keep the mountain lion away somewhat.  She walked backwards down a hill toward some police officers that were waiting at the bottom of the trail.  She was stalked but not attacked.

Mountain lions are very dangerous creatures and we should use caution around them.  Of course not going into the woods because of them is stupid, if your smart, use your head and know the facts you can avoid or help the situations.  

Author: Naomi Smith