Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Mountain Lion Safety Tips

Mountain lions serve an important role in parks ecosystem because they prevent the over-population of deer and other small mammals. Generally, the big cats are calm, quiet and elusive. Sightings are rare, so if you spot one, consider yourself privileged! A mountain lion attack is an extremely unlikely event.

To avoid an encounter:

Watch children closely. Never let them run ahead or lag behind on the trail. Talk to children about lions and teach them what to do if they meet one.

Avoid hiking or walking alone.

Don't run. Running may stimulate the lion’s instinct to chase.

Store food according to park regulations.

Do not leave pets or pet food outside or in a vehicle and unattended, especially at night. Pets attract mountain lions into developed areas.

Never approach a lion, especially one that is feeding or with kittens. Most lions will try to avoid a confrontation, so always give them a way to escape.

If you encounter a mountain lion:

Try these behaviors to convince the lion you are not prey and may be dangerous yourself:

Face the lion and stand upright. Do not turn your back on the mountain lion.

Make eye contact.

Don't run. Stay calm. Hold your ground or back away slowly. Do all you can to appear larger: Grab a stick, raise your arms, open your jacket and spread it above your head.

Pick small children up and place on your shoulders. Spread your arms, open your coat, and try and make yourself appear larger.

Wave your arms, shout and throw objects. The goal is to convince the lion that you are not prey and may be dangerous, yourself.

If attacked, fight back! Do not "play dead."

Image Source: NPS