How you might encounter a mountain lion in America

Encountering a mountain lion in California
Encountering a mountain lion in California
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The video below gives us a nice feel for how a trekker might encounter a cougar (puma or mountain lion) in America. This incident occurred in California. I believe there is a misconception about the desire of mountain lions to attack humans. They hardly ever do it. Children are normally the victims. Mountain lion attacks on people are rare. According to Wikipedia there have been five fatal cougar attacks in the entirety of America since 2000 – the past 18 years.

For comparison, during the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, dogs killed 433 Americans. The contrast is stark. And yet humans are far more fearful of mountain lions than pet dogs. Remember these are domesticated dogs killing large numbers of people whereas the cougar is a wild animal.

Cougars are similar to the cheetah and snow leopard in terms of mildness of character. All three have been domesticated. Of the three the snow leopard has the ‘gentlest’ of characters towards people probably because they have not learned how dangerous humans are.

You can see the retiring nature of the cougar in the video. He or she immediately trots away from the trekkers when she sees them and then takes up a high vantage point from which she observers the couple. There is no aggression. The couple walk backwards to avoid presenting themselves as fleeing prey to the cougar. That’s wise but I’d bet my bottom dollar that the cat wouldn’t have bothered anyway.

Please give the video time to load if you don’t see it or refresh the page – thanks.

Definitely not what you want to find during a backpacking trip ?

Definitely not what you want to find during a backpacking trip ?

Posted by Daily Mail on Friday, November 23, 2018

The video says that the cat is not what you’d want to find during a backpacking trip but I’d disagree. What a fantastic experience to see this superb animal in the wild. Not many people get the chance. I’d treasure it.

Mountain Lion Attacks in California

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

8 thoughts on “How you might encounter a mountain lion in America”

  1. Take your earbuds out and enjoy the sounds of nautre. There has been more than one attack related several predators where the human was so unaware of the animals they opened themselves up to attack. Any predator will engage in prey drive attacks. Many will back off if you stand and face them or you have time to pull the bear spray out of your holster.
    Most people including myself fear cougars based on their attack method. They prefer to ambush and go for the neck.
    No one should ever take sighing a predator lightly. It’s time to leave the area. The couple did exactly the right thing. Backed up and left. You may have lost your bottom dollar if they had continued Micheal.

  2. A topic of concern I’d been familiar with and active about was that pit bull dogs in particular had killed 284 or 65.6 % of those people killed by dogs in America… Yet they are coddled and lied about by activists who ignore that and mislead others to keep them from being “persecuted”. Shocking, and it continues. Thanks for bringing it up, and I do think those particular wild cats, especially the Snow Leopard are very likable. Here are some vids of snow mamas acting similarly goofy with their cubs.
    As you can see, they are particularly boing happy. It is correct though that Pumas have been villianized when the occasional encounter is reported in the news, but the danger they present is very minimal compared to many animals, even people’s own pet dogs.

    1. Your comment was held for moderation by the software because of the links (spammers use links) just so you know. Thanks for agreeing. The female puma is no bigger than a 10 year old boy. They are not like African lions. Perhaps people are confused between these species because of the name.

    2. Albert, in the UK the most common dog bites come from Labradors. The dog everyone associates with being a great family dog.

      Dogs may not be your favourite animal, but it is proven time and time again, that any domesticated species is considerably less likely to harm humans, if raised humanely and intelligently. This includes Pitbulls and subtypes.

      How do you feel when people say “all oriental cats are viscious”?

      Prejudice and intelligence are two horses that cannot be stewarded at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.

      1. I like dogs fine, Jane, but pit bulls are atypical in most dangerous ways. One way is they aren’t necessarily vicious when they maul, maim and kill. To them it’s just exercising their abilities and the adrenaline rush they get from it… like a runners’ high. I understand you have a different opinion and I’m sorry you feel I’m just stupid or ignorant. This is an area of study that I shared with many others on both sides, including a world’s leading researcher on canine evolution with emphasis on aggression, Alexandra Semyonova. I don’t mind dropping huge names when appropriate. I helped in her in ongoing research and recommend reading her work highly.

        1. I’m sorry that you missed the point of my reply Albert, and chose to take it personally instead.

          It is much easier for humans to blame a breed or type of one species that they themselves created, initially by domestication, than look to the horrendous errors of management & judgement that humans make.

          In the UK, we have a piece of knee jerk legislation – The Dangerous Dogs Act. This bans about four breeds, including the Pitbull. It has only resulted in an increase in dogs biting/killing humans. Pitbulls have not been the culprits, now they are banned. Other breed types have become the icons of fear. Every instance has been a result of human stupidity

          All bans, campaigns of fear mongering do, for any species is result in more prejudice and stupidity from animal stewards. Look at hundreds of cases where dogs bit humans, you will see a commonality, a failure of those responsible for that dog to train, supervise and handle that dog responsibly. I include humans who breed & train dogs for aggression & fighting or for dubious personal protection in that point as well.

          Humans domesticated the cat, the dog, all ‘livestock’ beings as well. Humans will avoid examining their own actions/decisions at any cost. As a species, we are very insecure in our assumed superiority to all other species, it’s our downfall, our biggest fault. It is the seeding ground for lethal prejudice, always.

          Humans are both predators and prey, we need intelligence to sustain our survival. Prejudice, towards any being of any species sustains ignorance, it impedes learning, worst of all it puts an end to understanding, and never leads to real, effective and humane solutions.

          The concept of “problem” breeds/speces, is without fail, the responsibility of humans. That this concept continues, reflects our lazyiness. Humans prefer prejudice, it is easier than using intellgence.

          We can assign expert status to anyone who studies a single aspect of any form of life, if it suits our purpose and reflects our need for confirmation of our own prejudices.

          Every perceived “fault” in domesticated species is a direct reflection of human failing.

          The problem is not dogs, the problem is humans.

    3. I have no patience left with the pit bull debate. After dealing with my SILs who killed anything it could inclusing getting it’s teeth stuck in one of their older dogs skulls, The nit wits down the road who liked to walk theirs while yelling at me to get off the road their dog was ‘scared of strangers’. To the pit that several weeks ago tried to harass my cats though the front door window glass. The second time I sent that dog home with the wits scared out of him and left a notice on Nextdoor that further visits weren’t going to be tolerated. They are animal aggressive even when they are human friendly. I have witness two of them trying to go full bore at each other in a pet store and one tried to rip a pocket dog out of someone’s arms at a store. Both were wearing service dog vests. When I go shopping I now carry a heavy duty walking cane and pepper spray. It’s not measured by bites but measure the danger of any breed by the severity of the injury and the ability to kill. I made it clear I didn’t want a stray pit bull on my porch and I guess the owners got the message.

      1. I feel for you completely while many people don’t even understand the issue, especially those enamored with pit bulls. I hope you and your cats stay safe. I always know how far from my gun I am, knowing even that might not be enough to stop an attack, and I’ve had to do that a couple times. One weird trick I learned is to grab the scruff of their neck and shove your fist down their throat to choke them out. These are extraordinary dogs requiring unconventional means to protect yourself from them. A bite stick is the means used to open their jaw if they’re latched onto someone. It’s a horribly dangerous “pet” that eviscerates many tens of thousands of neighborhood cats every year. Again, stay safe.

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