© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Mountain Lion Danger and Reaction Advice
Mountain lions are propagating in Colorado and are becoming a nuisance and danger to game. Colorado Parks and Wildlife decided in 2017 to cull lions and bears in western Colorado because they are excessively predating game. That also changes things and begs caution for hunter safety. Lions have rarely been seen in the past because they are solitary, elusive animals, which normally avoid humans. Their increased numbers statistically raise the possibility that unaware hunters may bump into and be annoyed by cougars. That is why I include the following warnings from New Mexico Parks and Wildlife and the US Forest service [ I added some extensions]. Basic Knowledge: 1. Attacks are extremely rare [commonly when humans unknowingly mimic cougar prey] 2. Cougars are most active at dusk and dawn. Avoid recreating in non-open areas during those hours. [Hunters beware when traveling to and from stands, or approaching your kill site.] 3. Running and unleashed dogs can trigger an attack. [Cats become incited to kill, and they like chasing easy prey]. 4. People traveling alone are more vulnerable than groups. [Most single people normally do not talk to themselves, and they make less movement noise, and they are more liable to surprise a lion.] What to Do if You Encounter a Cougar: A. Face a cougar and slowly back away if you see a lion. B. NEVER run or play dead. [Running incites the lions kill instinct]. C. Immediately pick up small children and calm them. [Screaming and their physical agitation may evoke a cougar’s aggression instinct.] D. Look for and leave room for a cougar to escape. [A cornered cat evokes survival reaction. NEVER approach a cat, which is an indication of challenge.] E. Make noise, lift up your arms to make yourself look larger, and shout loudly. F. If a cougar attacks, violently fight back with sticks, stones, backpacks or whatever else is at hand. [Do not allow the lion to get to your rear, a favorite-by-instinct attack and kill position for cats.] Be Alert! Do not approach dead animals cougars linger near and defend their prey. [If your kill has been pillaged, and moved and covered with debris, it may have been claimed by a cougar, which commonly linger by the meat for several days. Bears do not generally cover game meat, but may move it.] Hike in groups, make enough noise to alert cougars, and avoid surprise encounters. Carry a stout walking stick and bear pepper spray if lions are active in the area. Keep pets leashed NEVER allow children to run ahead or fall behind. [Children should always WALK, not run. A child running incites cougar curiosity and an instinctive cougar reaction to chase.] [Report overly curious lions to authorities. The lion may be more aggressive and dangerous because of old age, illness, poor teeth or wounds.] Cougar tracks may appear like dog tracks t o most people. Below is a New Mexico Department of Wildlife - US Forest Service comparison . Lion Addenda: 1. Look at lions, but do not stare fixated at a cougar. This is body language for asking for a confrontation, just as it would be with two humans in an argument intensely staring at each other. A provoked big cat is faster runner than you will ever be. Do you have a house cat? Be a naughty boy as I used to be. Find your cat when it is resting and intensely stare at it without moving. Even though house cats have been domesticated thousands of years, it will probably revert to defensive instinct, get nervous and move away - or get ornery. 2. Loggers in India rain forests concentrate during their wandering to select and fell trees. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks by resident tigers. Authorities recruited an animal scientist to help stop the attacks. He created bright yellow shirts with large eyes painted on the back. The shirt eyes slightly shifting as loggers moved which fooled the tigers. The attacks greatly reduced. Prey cats instinctively want to attack advantageously which means silently from the victim’s rear. 3. Never run from lions! An unfortunate track runner athlete took a recess run around an Idaho Springs, Colorado mountain trial behind the high school. He was attacked from the back by a lion and killed. I am reminded (and caution myself) of the incident every time I drive by the memorial bridge erected in his memory. 4. Parents, heed the warning! NEVER ever let children linger behind a group while hiking in lion territory! A six-year-old Colorado boy completely disappeared (never found) when he lagged behind the hiking family. The conclusion was that a mountain lion killed and dragged the boy to its den. 5. Lions are reclusive animals. They often live near unknowing humans. Some of our west Denver neighbors have been surprised to see bold lions within our development. One had a lion consuming a deer under their deck, returning three days to the kill site. Golden, Colorado is a valley. The hunting restrictions increase deer populations, which in turn attracts big cats. The surrounding hills are prime lion hunting ground. So, just because you do not see cougars does not mean they are not there. Throttling a Mountain Lion : In July a lone trail runner encountered an immature but still formidable mountain lion while jogging in a State Park in the foot hills west of Ft. Collins, CO. He knew how to correctly interact with the lion, but the curious juvenile was instinctively following steps to secure a meal. The hiker managed to get his hands around the inbound lion and strangle it. That was one prepared, cool-headed and lucky bloke. Park’s spokeswoman commented the hero “will not have to buy another beer in his life.” Become educated about all facets of the wild! From a wildlife perspective, it must be remembered that the attacking lion was really a mere kitten chasing what it thought might be an easy dinner. Its behavior was imature. An adult lion wound have been more observant before attacking. Never run from an encountered mountain lion. Never! Lions specialize in running down prey (or what acts like prey). West of the I-70 tunnel near Idaho Springs is a bridge dedicated to Scott. His sport was track, and he practiced running hill trails behind the high school. His body was found, partially eaten and dragged off to a lion cache. Elsewhere, a seven year old boy lingered far behind a hiking family. He too was killed for being in the rear. Lion / Cougars Observations: Cougars can run 45 mph, leap 30 horizontal feet from a standstill, jump 20 feet up a cliff and easily clear most fences without thinking. Lions place their rear paws into their front paw print when leisurely walking. A single set of tracks is commonly a male, while two or more tracks indicate a female and kittens. Colorado mountain lions’ males are larger than females, weighing an average 150 pounds. Females weigh about 90 pounds. Males make a scrape of leaves, twigs and urine. As if symbolically, in rocky terrain where there is no loose vegetation to cover a kill, it will seek a single stick to place on the kill. Lions have a large territory. Female lions in estrus may walk back and forth caterwauling to attract males. Author Maurice Hornaker describes lion kills. He claims that seeing a lion break an elk neck as one of the greatest feats in the world. The charge and mount is extremely quick, claws embed in the shoulders and with muscular reflex claws reach forward to pull back and snap the elk’s neck, Hornicker believes lions take down more elk bulls than cows. There are over 40 names for mountain lions. Mountain lion avoidance advice is on www.mountainlion.org Learn more about lions at www. wildlifeimages.org. and Colorado parks and Wildlife Cat and even mountain lions can develop a nervous condition called vuroceoe. It causes the feline to nonsensically eat sticks, and often results in the animal’s death.
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© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
Mountain lions are propagating in Colorado and are becoming a nuisance and danger to game. Colorado Parks and Wildlife decided in 2017 to cull lions and bears in western Colorado because they are excessively predating game. That also changes things and begs caution for hunter safety. Lions have rarely been seen in the past because they are solitary, elusive animals, which normally avoid humans. Their increased numbers statistically raise the possibility that unaware hunters may bump into and be annoyed by cougars. That is why I include the following warnings from New Mexico Parks and Wildlife and the US Forest service [ I added some extensions]. Basic Knowledge: 1. Attacks are extremely rare [commonly when humans unknowingly mimic cougar prey] 2. Cougars are most active at dusk and dawn. Avoid recreating then. [Hunters beware when traveling to and from stands, or approaching your kill site.] 3. Running and unleashed dogs can trigger an attack. [Cats become incited to kill, and they like chasing easy prey]. 4. People traveling alone are more vulnerable than groups. [Single people normally do not talk to themselves, make less movement noise and are more liable to surprise a lion.] What to Do if You Encounter a Cougar: A. Face a cougar and slowly back away if you see a lion. B. NEVER run or play dead. [Running incites the lions kill instinct]. C. Immediately pick up small children and calm them. [Screaming and their physical agitation may evoke a cougar’s aggression instinct.] D. Look for and leave room for a cougar to escape. [A cornered cat evokes survival reaction. NEVER approach a cat, which is an indication of challenge.] E. Make noise, lift up your arms to make yourself look larger, and shout loudly. F. If a cougar attacks, violently fight back with sticks, stones, backpacks or whatever else is at hand. [Do not allow the lion to get to your rear, a favorite-by-instinct attack and kill position for cats.] Be Alert! Do not approach dead animals – cougars linger near and defend their prey. [If your kill has been pillaged, and moved and covered with debris, it may have been claimed by a cougar, which commonly linger by the meat for several days. Bears do not generally cover game meat, but may move it.] Hike in groups, make enough noise to alert cougars, and avoid surprise encounters. Carry a stout walking stick and bear pepper spray if lions are active in the area. Keep pets leashed NEVER allow children to run ahead or fall behind. [Children should always WALK, not run. A child running incites cougar curiosity and an instinctive cougar reaction to chase.] [Report overly curious lions to authorities. The lion may be more aggressive and dangerous because of old age, illness, poor teeth or wounds.] Cougar tracks may appear like dog tracks to most people. Below is a New Mexico Department of Wildlife - US Forest Service comparison. Lion Addenda: 1. Look at lions, but do not stare fixated at a cougar. This is body language for asking for a physical confrontation, just as it would be with two humans in an argument who intensely stare at each other. A provoked big cat is faster runner than you will ever be. Do you have a house cat? Be a naughty boy as I used to be. Find you cat when it is resting and intensely stare at it without moving. Even though house cats have been domesticated thousands of years, it will probably revert to defensive instinct, get nervous and move away or get ornery. 2. Loggers in India rainforests concentrate on their search to find and fell treed. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks by resident tigers. Authorities recruited an animal scientist help stop the attacks. He created bright yellow shirts with large eyes painted on the back. The shirt eyes slightly shifting as loggers moved and fooled the tigers. The attacks greatly reduced. Prey cats instinctively want to attack advantageously which means from the victim’s rear. 3. Never run from lions! An unfortunate track runner athlete took a run around an Idaho Springs, Colorado a mountain trial behind the high school. He was attacked from the back by a lion and killed. I am reminded (and caution myself) of the incident every time I drive by the memorial bridge erected in his memory. 4. Parents, heed the warning! NENER ever let children linger behind a group hiking in lion territory! A six-year-old Colorado boy completely disappeared (never found) when he lagged behind the hiking family. The conclusion was that a mountain lion killed and dragged the boy to its den. 5. Lions are reclusive animals. They often live near unknowing humans. Some of our west Denver neighbors have been surprised to see lions within our development. One had a lion consuming a deer under their deck, returning three days to the kill site. Golden, Colorado is a valley. The hunting restrictions increase deer populations, which in turn attracts big cats. The surrounding hills are prime lion hunting ground.So just because you do not see cougars does not mean they are not there. Throttling a Mountain Lion : In July a lone trail runner encountered an immature but still formidable mountain lion while jogging in a State Park in the foot hills west of Ft. Collins, CO. He knew how to correctly interact with the lion, but the curious juvenile was instinctively following steps to secure a meal. The hiker managed to get his hands around the inbound lion and strangle it. That was one prepared, cool-headed and lucky bloke. Park’s spokeswoman commented the hero “will not have to buy another beer in his life.” Become educated about all facets of the wild! From a wildlife perspective, it must be remembered that the attacking lion was really a mere kitten chasing what it thought might be an easy dinner. Its behavior was imature. An adult lion wound have been more observant before attacking. Never run from an encountered mountain lion. Never! Lions specialize in running down prey (or what acts like prey). West of the I-70 tunnel near Idaho Springs is a bridge dedicated to Scott. His sport was track, and he practiced running hill trails behind the high school. His body was found, partially eaten and dragged off to a lion cache. Elsewhere, a seven year old boy lingered far behind a hiking family. He too was killed – for being in the rear. Lion / Cougars Trivia and Observations: Cougars can run 45 mph, leap 30 horizontal feet from a standstill, jump 20 feet up a cliff and easily clear most fences without thinking. Lions place their rear paws into their front paw print when leisurely walking. A single set of tracks is commonly a male, while two or more tracks indicate a female and kittens. Colorado mountain lions’ males are larger than females, weighing an average 150 pounds. Females weigh about 90 pounds. Males make a scrape of leaves, twigs and urine. As if symbolically, in rocky terrain where there is no loose vegetation to cover a kill, it will seek a single stick to place on the kill. Lions have a large territory. Female lions in estrus may walk back and forth caterwauling to attract males. Author Maurice Hornaker describes lion kills. He claims that seeing a lion break an elk neck as one of the greatest feats in the world. The charge and mount is extremely quick, claws embed in the shoulders and with muscular reflex claws reach forward to pull back and snap the elk’s neck, Hornicker believes lions take down more elk bulls than cows. There are over 40 names for mountain lions. Mountain lion avoidance advice is on www.mountainlion.org Learn more about lions at www. wildlifeimages.org. and Colorado parks and Wildlife Cat and even mountain lions can develop a nervous condition called vuroceoe. It causes the feline to nonsensically eat sticks, and often results in the animal’s death.
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Mountain Lion Danger and Hunter Reactions
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