Mountain Lion Startles Palm Springs Worker, CDFW Reminds Hikers to be Aware
April 7, 2014 CDFW News
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is advising hikers and residents along the foothills and mountains of Palm Springs to be cautious after a golf course worker’s recent encounter with an aggressive mountain lion.
On the evening of Friday, March 28, 2014 a mountain lion charged a worker from behind as he was closing a gate. The worker was able to seek refuge by positioning himself behind a large iron gate. The lion was eventually deterred when the man raised his arms over his head and yelled at it.
CDFW biologists were notified of the incident several days later and investigated, but were unable to find signs of the lion at the scene. This incident is considered a threatening encounter. Under state law and CDFW policy, lions can be taken if they become an imminent threat to public safety.
Mountain lions are wide-ranging animals that can wander over areas as large as 200 square miles. Lions are widely spread out in the Coachella Valley and CDFW reminds walkers and hikers to be aware of their surroundings and use caution in light of this recent incident.
It is rare, but not unheard of, for mountain lions to threaten people. On average fewer than 10 public safety incidents involving mountain lions occur in California annually. In the event of an encounter with an aggressive mountain lion,
CDFW recommends that you do what you can to appear larger. For example, open your jacket or raise arms over your head. If attacked, FIGHT BACK! People have successfully repelled lion attacks using caps, sticks and canteens or whatever else they had on hand.
Since 1986, there have been 14 verified mountain lion attacks on people in California, including six fatalities. The last fatality was in January 2004 in Orange County.
Finally some good advice instead of wimpy suggestions to roll over and play dead. I was never in favor of spineless suggestions. Better to intimidate or to fight than to roll up in a ball and whimper. If the lion (or the wolf, coyote or bear) is determined and mean, weakness will only encourage its aggressive behavior. Displaying strength and dominance will give you a chance, I reckon.
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