Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Mountain Lions

Mountain lions serve an important role in the park 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 increase your safety, follow these suggestions:

•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 (see information to follow).

•Avoid hiking or walking alone. 

•Store food per 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.

What should you do if you meet a mountain lion?

•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.

•Don't run. Stay calm. Hold your ground or back away slowly. Face the lion and stand upright. Do all you can to appear larger: Grab a stick, raise your arms, open your jacket and spread it above your head, and if you have small children with you, pick them up.

•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!