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Tips for dealing with mountain lions
Additional Mountain Lion pages
- Mountain Lion Information
- Mountain Lion Biology
- Tips for dealing with mountain lions
- Attacks in North America
What to do if you encounter a mountain lion
- Do not hike, jog or ride your bicycle alone in mountain lion country: Go in groups, with adults supervising children.

- Keep children close to you: Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children in your sight at all times.

- Do not approach a mountain lion: Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

- Do not run from a mountain lion: Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If there are small children there, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

- Do not crouch or bend over: A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. When in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

- Appear larger: Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. 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. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

- Fight back if attacked: Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, 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.

Tips for living in mountain lion country
- Don't feed wildlife: By feeding deer, javelina or other wildlife in your yard, you may inadvertently attract mountain lions, which prey upon them.

- Deer and rabbit proof your landscape: Avoid using plants that deer prefer to eat; if landscaping attracts deer, mountain lions may be close by.

- Landscape for safety: Remove dense and/or low-lying vegetation provides good hiding places for mountain lions and coyotes, especially around children's play areas; make it difficult for wild predators to approach a yard unseen.

- Closely supervise children: Keep a close watch on children whenever they play outdoors. Make sure children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn. Talk with children about mountain lions and teach them what to do if they encounter one.

- Install outdoor lighting: Keep the house perimeter well lit at night - especially along walkways - to keep any approaching mountain lions visible.

- Keep pets secure: Roaming pets are easy prey for hungry mountain lions and coyotes. Either bring pets inside or keep them in a kennel with a secure top. Don't feed pets outside; this can attract javelina and other mountain lion prey.
External Resources [More]
- Expert Report on lion behaviors during encounters with humans
- Mountain Lion Attacks On People in the U.S. and Canada
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Downloads [More]
- Mountain Lions in Arizona [PDF, 796kb]
NOTE: The following files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.For text-only, use Adobe Access.

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