Panther panic

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A mountain lion was sighted in the creek area adjacent to to the ranch side of Christmas Hill Park on May 9.

Once again, calls are coming in to WERC about mountain lions
(aka cougars, pumas, panthers) from nervous people who have seen
them near their homes. Sightings of these large animals (6 to 9
feet long and weighing up to 275 pounds) are on the upswing during
the dry season because the lions may need to leave remote habitats
in search of prey and water.
Once again, calls are coming in to WERC about mountain lions (aka cougars, pumas, panthers) from nervous people who have seen them near their homes. Sightings of these large animals (6 to 9 feet long and weighing up to 275 pounds) are on the upswing during the dry season because the lions may need to leave remote habitats in search of prey and water. But with limited hunting grounds, the lions may follow prey-usually old or sick deer-into the suburbs, especially if people are deliberately attracting the grazing deer to their yards. Business and residential developments are encroaching on the lions’ natural habitat, pushing the lions and their prey further into smaller territories.

The lions are intelligent, solitary animals and will avoid humans (who they do NOT see as food) as much as possible. But keep safe and follow these rules:

If you hike, jog, or bike, don’t go alone-take a partner or stay in a group. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at dawn, dusk and night. Be prepared: Carry a whistle or a small air-horn with you. And if you have any outdoor animals, make sure they’re safe, too, by keeping them enclosed at night.

If you do happen to come face to face with a mountain lion:

* Do not approach

* Do not run or crouch. Doing so causes you to act like the lion’s prey and it may pursue you.

* Be loud and look BIG-stand upright, wave your arms, yell as loud as you can.

For more information on staying safe in mountain lion country, go to California Dept. of Fish and Game’s website, http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild.

 

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