Safety tips for encounters with mountain lions

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A woman in the North County said her husband and 12-year-old son had a big scare this week.

They were surprised by a mountain lion.

The two were on mountain bikes on a trail in the Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve this week when the cougar appeared on the trail.

According to an account of the incident posted on the app, Next Door, the lion began to follow the two down the path. At that point, the father got off his bike, raised it over his head and began waving it while yelling at the lion.

The animal turned away and ran off.

Richard Burg, a wildlife biologist who works for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the father’s actions were effective. Burg said if you encounter a mountain lion, the last thing you should do is run away, because the cougar may think you are prey and that may lead to an attack. Burg said you should make yourself look as large and as threatening as possible, while waving your arms and even shouting. If the animal becomes aggressive, you can pick up a bottle, rock or other object and throw it directly at the lion.

The occasional sighting does not mean that the mountain lion population has increased. Burg and other wildlife experts said encounters with the animal are more common after dark. In general, cougars are timid by nature and attacks on people are rare.

Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents