- Mountain Lions and Humans
- Mountain Lions avoid people.
- Mountain lions' attacks on people are extremely RARE.
- Most of the reports in the news of mountain lion sighting and/or attacks are false (In Texas: "Most Mountain Lion ‘Sightings’ In Texas Unreliable")
- If an attack occurs, it usually involves a lone individual or an unsupervised child allowed to wander ALONE.
- Most attacks have been traced to young and curious mountain lions.
- In the past 113 years (1890 - 2003), only 16 fatal attacks and 92 non-fatal attacks of Mountain Lions on humans have been documented in North America and Canada (Beier 1991; Fitzhugh et al. 2003).
- This compares to over 200,000 attacks by dogs
- No fatal attacks have been reported in Texas.
- Over 100 deaths caused by deer/vehicle collision have occured over an 8 year period in Texas
- and over 30 deaths due to lightning (Texas) in a 10 year period
- In the past decade, Big Bend National Park was the only location in Texas reporting 3 non-fatal attacks by mountain lions on humans.
When in Mountain Lion Habitat*:
- Keep children under close control, and in view.
- Do not hike alone
- Do not run
- Avoid dead animals and never approach kittens.
- Be alert to your surroundings
- Secure pets and hobby animals in predator-proof enclosures between dusk and dawn.
- Keep pets on leashes and off trails in the backcountry.
- Keep garbage under control to avoid attracting raccoons, skunks etc.
- Do not feed pets outside and remove extra feed from domestic animals pens.
- Do not feed deer and wild turkeys.
If encountering a Mountain Lion*:
- Pick up small children immediately if you see a mountain lion
- Do not run
- Stand. Wave your arms
- Raise jacket over your head. Appear as large as possible
- Move to higher ground if nearby
- Throw sticks, rocks, or other objects if within reach and accessible without bending too low.
- Talk calmly.
- Back away
- Maintain eye contact Do not look away.
- But, if mountain lion is agitated use peripheral vision to keep track of its location
- If attacked: fight back!
* Cougar Management Guidelines 2005