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Mountain Lion Up Close

Last week Judy Lindberg and her husband spotted this mountain lion near Marys Lake Road. They got some great photos and this is the perfect time to remind everyone that we do live in mountain lion country and some tips to remember to keep you and your family safe.

Lions live where there is abundant prey and stalking cover available. Males can be more than 8 ft long and weigh 130-150 lbs, Femals can be greater than 7 ft. long and weight 65 – 90 lbs.

They hunt any time, day or night but peak at dawn and dusk and rest during midday. Their activity coincides with their prey’s activity. It is not unusual to see a mountain lion during the day.

Mountain lions are very secretive animals that tend to avoid human contact. Encounters are rare and usually not threatening.

Do not approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

Stay calm when you come upon a lion. Talk calmly yet firmly to it. Move slowly.

Stop or back away slowly, if you can do it safely. Running may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase and attack. Face the lion and stand upright.

Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you’re wearing one. If you have small children with you, protect them by picking them up so they won’t panic and run.

If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever you can get your hands on without crouching down or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly. What you want to do is convince the lion you are not prey and that you may in fact be a danger to the lion.

Fight back if a lion attacks you. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools and their bare hands successfully. Remain standing or try to get back up!

Photos by Judy Lindberg

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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