Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mountain Lion 101

Approach, run, crouch down or turn your back on a mountain lion

Back away slowly, remain calm
Keep children close by and pets on a leash
Raise your arms and make yourself appear larger
If the lion approaches you, yell, throw stones, branches or whatever you can grab without crouching down
If the lion attacks, fight back and stay on your feet

This warning is not meant to create fear among people, but to advise that "nature is our backyard. We need to be aware that mountain lions are part of the environment we're encroaching on."
Yesterday there was a mountain lion sighting ...down the hill from us....on our road....it was spotted in the early morning jumping from the neighbor's yard...down a bank, and across the road....right where the big leaning tree is.....Andy went to collect our garbage cans a few minutes later, and at the exact same spot saw a grey fox.....(maybe the lion was after the fox)???? who knows. I quickly gathered up the animals anyway.....Above is a copy of signs that were posted at UC Berkeley alerting the campus community and visitors what to do and NOT do if they spot a mountain lion.....some of these seemed to funny to me.....such as:
Back away slowly, remain calm.....(who in the heck can remain calm when you see a huge mountain lion in front of you) ???????? It should say something like you might lose bladder control.....
grab anything you can without crouching down....( who in the heck can pick something up without crouching down) ????????? Maybe you should just carry a BIG stick with you at all times......
If the lion attacks fight back and stay on your feet.....( I for one...can't stay on my feet during normal circumstances...how in the heck can you stay on your feet when a mountain lion is attacking you...a lion that can weigh anywhere from 80 to 100+ lbs.)??????????
I do agree that nature is our backyard...mountain lions are part of our environment...about half of California is prime mountain lion country. These large, powerful predators have always lived here, preying on deer and other wildlife, and playing an important role in the ecosystem.
You may live or play in mountain lion country. Like any wildlife, mountain lions can be dangerous. With a better understanding of mountain lions and their habitat, we can coexist with these magnificent animals.
Here are some FACTS about MOUNTAIN LIONS.....
The mountain lion is tawny-colored with black-tipped ears and tail.
Adult males may be more than 8 feet long, and generally weigh between 130 and 150 lbs. Adult females can be 7ft. long and weigh between 65 and 90lbs.
Mountain lions are very powerful and normally prey upon large animals such as deer, sheep, and elk. (they can survive preying on small animals as well).
They usually hunt alone, at night. They prefer to ambush their prey, often from behind. They are generally secretive and solitary in nature...this is why it is possible for humans to live in mountain lion country without ever seeing one.
Generally, mountain lions are calm, quiet and elusive. They are most found in areas with plentiful prey and adequate cover. Such conditions exist in mountain sub-divisions, urban fringes and open spaces.
The potential for being killed or injured by a mountain lion is quite low compared to many other natural hazards. There is a far greater risk, of being struck by lightning than of being attacked by a mountain lion.
Here is what you can do to reduce your chances of encountering a mountain lion near your home:
* Don't feed the wildlife: By feeding deer, raccoons or other wildlife in your yard, you will also attract mountain lions, which prey upon them.
* "Deer-Proof" your landscape:
Avoid using plants that deer prefer to eat; if your landscaping attracts deer, mountain lions may be close by.
* Landscape for safety: Remove dense and/ or low-lying vegetation that would provide good hiding places for lions. Make it difficult for mountain lions to approach your yard unseen.
* Install Outdoor Lighting: Keep the perimeter of your house well lit at night...especially along walkways...
* Keep pets secure: Bring pets in at night...and don't feed them outside.
* Keep children safe: Keep a close watch...make sure they are inside between dusk and dawn.

It is September already!!!! It still feels like SUMMER here...temps. have been in the triple digits...today it is only supposed to reach the mid-eighties...what a welcome CHANGE !
I have some ART to post....but working in the studio has been almost next to nothing..I do feel something inside me stirring.... a little muse filling my head with lots of ideas of things to create.....it will come! XXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO



Blogger Angela Marie said...

Wow! You had some wonderful insights on this matter (funny too). I was thinking the same thing. How do you pick up a rock or stick without crouching? Stay on your feet? Ummm, Okay?!

This is really good information on this beautiful Mountain Lion.
Great post Vicci!
As always.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

They are gorgeous creatures but I'm sure I'd find it very difficult to remain calm when face to face with one!

11:46 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm taking notes Vicci. We won't be up until weekend after next now...bummer. XXOO

3:14 PM  
Blogger Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Wow, I didn't know you had these creatures right in your own backyard!
They look so beautiful yet I wouldn't want to get near one.
The advice they give is good but not practical, yours was funny!!! Yes, how can you pick something up without crouching?
Hope you are cool, enjoying the Indian Summer! Give you and dad a big squeeze!!!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yikes,,I would definetly not want to see that big kitty face to face.
Yeah, I would be calm because I would be paralyzed from fear!!!
We have coyotes that roam around here, litte dogs are their fave snack, I have to keep Lady away from the woods. Glad its getting cooler there, hate that hot heat!
Take care Girlie!!!!

3:31 AM  
Blogger Mary Timme said...

Yikes! Mountain lions, while beautiful are not to be messed with. They spend years getting habitiated to humans and that isn't a good thing. Everything is hungry this time of year, stocking up and getting ready for fall. I hope people listen to what you have to tell them. I second, third, fourth and fifth it!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Love this informations, I agree with Angela...you are funny. I will try to practice picking up things without crouching down...not easy!!

5:46 PM  
Blogger CattyCat said...

I saw a mountain lion out in the sierra nevada once while backpacking. It was a ways away, on a rock. I stood and looked at it and it back at me. Ultimately it go up, turned and went up the hill and disappeared. At that point I moved away slowly and went on down the trail feeling I had just been blessed with one of the greatest gifts life can give. Most people are lucky to see a caged one, if even that. I sat and observed, with no fear at all, and the cat was obviously not disturbed by my presence. Such a compliment.

12:29 PM  
Blogger harmonyinline said...

Magnificent animal but I am glad they don’t live near me

11:50 AM  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

Wow! How informative! They are beautiful creatures & it only makes sense that they would follow the food. Sometimes I feel so bad for our wildlife when I see them getting smooshed out of their habitats because of new construction. Lately we have had bear sightings and two weeks ago, the police were chasing one down the main road from my little mill village at 2 in the morning. They said he ran up the hill & back into the woods without incident & I am so glad he didn't get shot for runting through someones' trash. I thought that the mountain lions were bigger, especially the females. 65 to 90lbs! My biggest little boy (Smokie the dog) weighs 90lbs and he seems so small on his hind legs compared to these felines. Excellant post Vicci...thanks for sharing!

8:54 PM  
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10:31 AM  

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