If you encounter a puma or panther

From the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

  • If you spot a mountain lion and the animal is unaware of you, alter your route so that you will move away from its area.
  • Never approach a mountain lion especially one that is feeding or with kittens.
  • Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Always give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run. Remain calm. Hold your ground or back away slowly.
  • Continue facing the mountain lion, and maintain eye contact.
  • Do all you can to appear larger; Stand upright, raise your arms, raise your walking stick, open your jacket.
  • If you have small children or pets with you, try to pick them up without turning away or bending over.
  • Never bend over or crouch down, avoid looking like a four-legged prey animal . Again, Do not bend over to pick up a rock or stick off the ground. This action may trigger a pounce response in a mountain lion.
  • If the lion behaves aggressively, wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice, and throw objects like the water bottle in your hand. The goal is to convince it that you are not prey and may be dangerous yourself.
  • Try to remain standing to protect your head and neck.
  • If attacked, fight back!! Use rocks, jackets, sticks to turn away the mountain lions.
  • Report any mountain lion encounters or incident to the local Ranger District, or Fish and Wildlife Office.

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