Mountain lion safety PSA
Mountain lion safety PSA

The list of names for Puma concolor is just as wide as their home range which extends from the southern tip of Chilean Patagonia and to northern reaches of Canada’s Yukon Territory. You may call them mountain lions or cougars but they also go by pumas, panthers, catamounts, painter and many more. No matter what you call them, the principles for remaining safe in the presence remains the same. Check out this quick PSA produced by Western Wildlife Outreach, an independent science-based community education project, about how stay safe in mountain lion country:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Guide To Mountain Lion Safety:

1. When it comes to personal safety, always be aware of your surroundings, wherever you are; conduct yourself and attend to children and dependents accordingly.

2. If you encounter a cougar, make yourself appear larger, more aggressive. Open your jacket, raise your arms, and throw stones, branches, etc., without turning away. Wave raised arms slowly, and speak slowly, firmly, loudly to disrupt and discourage predatory behavior

3. Never run past or from a cougar. This may trigger their instinct to chase. Make eye contact. Stand your ground. Pick up small children without, if possible, turning away or bending over.

4. Never bend over or crouch down. Doing so causes humans to resemble four-legged prey animals. Crouching down or bending over also makes the neck and back of the head vulnerable.

5. Try to remain standing to protect head and neck and, if attacked, fight back with whatever is at hand (without turning your back)—people have used rocks, jackets, garden tools, tree branches, and even bare hands to turn away cougars.

6. Don’t approach a cougar. Most cougars want to avoid humans. Give a cougar the time and space to steer clear of you.

7. Supervise children, especially outdoors between dusk and dawn. Educate them about cougars and other wildlife they might encounter.

8. Always hike, backpack, and camp in wild areas with a companion.

9. Don’t feed wildlife. Don’t leave food outside. Both may attract cougars by attracting their natural prey.

10. Keep pets secure. Roaming pets are easy prey for cougars.

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