What To Do In A Mountain Lion Attack

What should you do if attacked by a mountail lion? Precautions you can take.

Backpackers and Hikers alike know that while in the wilderness the chance of a wild animal encounter are slim but never the less a possibility. The number of mountian lions/human incidences have increased over th last several years. This is mostly attributed to the human encroachment factor in the wilds and as more and more people hit the wilderness trails the attitudes of animals that live in the wild change drastically. Some have pointed to the fact that humans, no matter how careful we are,leave food and trash along the trails. The wild animals get a taste for the human food sources and then associate we humans with these food sources.

No matter how seasoned of a hiker or backpacker you are there is nothing more startling than seeing a bear or mountain lion approaching your camp. Although this is rare, it still can happen at anytime day or night.

Mountian Lions are plentiful in areas where there is a large deer population and that means the mountainous areas where you may well be hiking or backpacking. As long as the food source is there the lions do not bother humans generally but in leaner times the lions have been known to stalk and also attack humans on the trail. We really do not know when the lean times are so to be prepared and know what to do in case of attack is your first step in being prepared.

Your first step is to never hike alone. Always go in groups and always make noise when in areas that mountain lions frequent and live. The noise you make will generally scare the lion away and halt any confrontation.

If you are on a day hike with children be sure to keep the children close to you. Mountain Lions are attracted to children like many other animals you find in the wild. One theory on this is their size and the fact the animal can take the child and easily carry it away like they do with small prey. Never, when hiking with your children, let them wander away or stray off the trail unnoticed.

Never,out of curiosity approach a mountian lion, no matter how tame and friendly they may seem. Always give plenty of space between you and the lion so they can escape and get away. Mountian Lions ussally do not like confrontation so always if you do happen to have contact leave a wide berth between you and the lion for its'escape.



Never run away from a mountian lion.Running stimulates a mountain lions natural instinct to chase. Be sure to always make contact with the lion and stand up as tall as possible. By making yourself look larger it intimidates the lion and often makes them turn and run. Open your jacket and flap it about, yell, throw stones but make sure you react so that the cat knows that you are the one in control, not him. If there are children present, pick them up immediately and never turn your back on a lion, or squat down while retrieving the child.

Never squat or bend over at anytime. Research has shown that when a human bends over that person looks like four legged prey to a large cat of any type. Avoid stooping, leaning over, squatting, or bending at the waist while in mountain lion territory.

If you are attacked, fight back. Never succumb or roll into a ball. Hit as hard as possible especially to the head area. If you can retrieve a stick or large rock ,use it as a weapon. If face to face with the cat, go for the eyes by clawing or throwning sand in the face of the cat. Mountain lions will usually strike the back of the head and especially the neck so be vigiliant to protect these areas and if at all possible remain standing or face to face with the animal once it is attacking.

If you are attacked from the back try to reposition yourself to meet the cat face to face. Mountain lions usually weigh between one hundred to one hundred and fifty pounds so if at all possible to get the cat off your back throw it over and forward. This manuever if you can complete it will also sometimes stun the cat and give you a chance to grab a weapon and defend yourself face to face with the animal.

Under no circumstances fall to the ground and roll into a fetal position. If you do this your chances of survival are limited because once you are down the cat sees you as nothing but small prey. The cat will also have the advantage of getting ahold of you and successfully win the battle.

If indeed you are attacked by an animal in the wild report this attack to Fish and Game, or the Ranger in the area as soon as possible.

Remember mountain lions are unpredictable but they still usually avoid confrontations. Attacks are on the upswing but still rare. The chances that you will even have an encounter with a lion in the wilderness is rare, but be prepared and know what to do if the situation ever arises. It is always better to be safe and prepared, than sorry.

© High Speed Ventures 2011