O’Connell Landscape the contracted landscaping company for the San Elijo Hills Association has recently sighted a Mountain Lion near the Montage community of San Elijo Hills. This is a reminder that we share our surroundings with wildlife species.
The following safety tips are provided by the California Department of Fish and Game. They are based on studies of mountain behavior and analysis of attacks by mountain lions.
- Don’t hike alone. Go in groups, with adults supervising children an keep children close to you. Observations of captured mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.
- Don’t approach a lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
- Don’t run from a lion. Running stimulates a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so that they don’t panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the lion.
- Don’t crouch or bend over. A squatting or bending person looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal.
- Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.
- Fight back if attacked. Some hikers have fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. For more information about mountain lions, contact the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), case of emergency call 911 and DFG at 916-445-0045