It’s very rare that a human will come into contact with a mountain lion, but it’s vital you know how to act in the situation to avoid getting hurt.
Over the past 100 years, there have only been 125 recorded attacks on humans and only 27 of these were fatal with just 5 occurring since the year 2000.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having a mountain lion stalking you then there are some essential steps that you must follow to stay safe.
However, if you are actually being stalked then it’s likely that you will be unaware anyway due to the stealthiness of this predator.
Quick Tip Summary
- STAY IN GROUPS
- STAY CALM
- WALK WITH DOGS
- STAY ALERT
- ACT INTIMIDATING
- CARRY PROTECTION
- FIGHT BACK
- HIKE ALONE
- APPROACH THEM
- CROUCH / MAKE YOURSELF SMALL
What You Should Do
Here’s what you should do in this situation:
Stay In Groups
Keeping together with your friends/family whilst hiking is essential for multiple reasons but is a massive preventative measure that you can undertake to make the predator disinterested.
Mountain lions will not engage with anything that they feel could potentially cause them harm as even a slight injury could mean it becomes unable to hunt and highly increases the likelihood of death.
This is much easier said than done, especially when you’re in a situation that is intense like this.
However, remaining calm will help you think clearly and also prevent the predator from sensing that you are afraid as they will see this as a sign of weakness.
Walk With Dogs
Walking with mans best friend can be a lifesaver, there’s plenty of stories online where people out hiking have been protected by their dogs.
Canines are adroit when it comes to sensing danger and potential attacks, they will be on hand to scare away the mountain lion in case of an encounter.
If they predator is aware that you are walking with dogs they are unlikely to attack anyway as they are outnumbered and will not want to risk injury.
Check out the video below of a labrador fending off a mountain lion:
Keep your wits about you whilst out hiking across the eastern side of the USA, listen out for any sounds and also be on the lookout for signs warning you of mountain lions.
Breathe in, push out your chest and stand upright. Do everything you can to act intimidating and scare them away.
Shouting or speaking in a deep tone will also help to intimidate them. If neither of these things works and the lion keeps approaching then you can start throwing any item you in your vicinity whilst trying to avoid injuring them.
Remember, if your life is in danger then do not worry about injuring the lion, your safety is of the upmost importance.
This can come in many forms, such as but not limited to:
- Pepper Spray
- Air Rifles
- Handguns / Rifles (State dependant)
- Hiking Poles
- Rape Alarms (Loud noises)
Never give up. If the worst happens and they attack you, fight back. Do everything you can to try and scare the mountain lion away or hurt it.
Use anything around you in this case and there are many people who have been in this situation and came out on top.
What You SHOULDN’T Do
Here are my tips on what you shouldn’t do if you are ever in this situation:
Running will just kickstart their instincts to chase and hunt down their prey (you), this is the number 1 thing that you should never do in this situation.
Mountain lions are also very fast so there’s no chance you will outrun it, even Usain Bolt would struggle.
Being on your own out on a trail is a bad idea altogether and will just entice one into thinking you are a potential meal.
Mountain lions generally want to avoid confrontations so you should do the same, if they happen to be caring for cubs at the time then they will be highly aggressive and will do anything to keep their young safe.
Crouch / Make Yourself Small
Doing this makes you look weak, they will see this as an indication to pounce and attack.