Now the emails coming to me are about how to protect yourself if attacked by a mountain lion. First, lion attacks are rare.
True, they are occurring more frequently. This survey (I am not sure how accurate it is) has a summary of mountain lion attacks in the US and Canada and California cougar attacks. Fish and Game also summarizes verified lion attacks in California but has not yet included the latest incident.
Some experts are saying that it is because younger lions are being moved out of territories by established males. Okay, when you encroach on natural habitat by building and invade the rest of the space that is true. Female mountain lions often travel across male territories without a problem.
And the last attack was by a female cougar. And what you might find interesting is that the last couple of attacks in Northern California were thwarted by female humans.
Did the cats back off because they sensed a PMS moment?
So here are the new reports on how to thwart a cougar attack–of course you can always visit http://www.arkanimals.com where I have several animal attack pages with tips and hints:
Most people are NOT aware of their surroundings. Just head into an urban setting and watch how oblivious many are to anything around them. On the trail you need to be aware of everything.
What else can you do? Carry a deterrent specific for animals, have some sort of walking stick–or maybe a fish whacker on you–and avoid walking in the early morning, dusk, or after dark to cut down the risk. Animals can attack at any time, most don’t attack humans by using common sense you can reduce your risk.
Finally, you could always plan on having a woman with PMS as a hiking partner…