There was a post by one of my Pine Meadows Ranch friends today on facebook.  She mentioned that she and her husband saw a mountain lion in Tollgate Canyon this morning.  Last night when I arrived at home I heard an odd chirping sound and thought hmm what is that? A bird?  Turns out it could have been a lion as it was sighted about a mile from my house.  I have seen cats here in the past both the lion and the much smaller Bobcat live here.  So,  I thought it was a good time to remind everyone what to do if they see a lion.  Some people said to report it.  WHY?  It just seems to me that we live in the mountains-they lived here first and to assume that they moved out (or should) when we moved in is arrogant and crazy.  Now if they start to become a nuisance, we may have to look into it further, but for now…. let’s learn to live with them-they ARE here.

First let me start by saying that they have tons of food here-not us.  Deer, elk, porcupines, rabbits and all of the other critters that find themselves on a lower rung of the food chain live here too.  These cats know and prefer a diet of these things.  And in anywhere in Summit County, like Tollgate Canyon and Park City, where there is NO HUNTING, food is abundant for them.

They do not like humans as we are not food and big, loud and smelly.  They will avoid us if possible.  However if our paths cross……

Cats are, by nature curious animals.  Think of your own domesticated house cat.  Well fed and familiar with you it still LOVEs to play.  What is that thing?  a string?  a Chipmunk? I’ll get it.   Well if you apply this same logic to a large wild cat.  It will be interested in what we are.  And if we run….. eek.

They are about 7 feet long, weigh 80-160lbs and eat mostly deer.  Where there are deer, there are lions.  They range over hundreds of miles and keep the deer population healthy.

Here is what you should do, if you encounter one.

BE LARGE, and LOUD-waive your arms around jump up and down (not away) and yell.  It will most likely be afraid and run away.  If not look it straight in the eye and assert yourself as a danger to them.  Cats generally spook easily .  If it still does not go away, asses your surroundings and take note if you are near a cub, or food or it’s escape route.  If you are SLOWLY move away while maintaining eye contact and remaining LARGE.

If in the unlikely event you are attacked you will need to FIGHT BACK.  Unlike a bear attack, you can still make go away with rocks, sticks punching and kicking.  Keep screaming.

DO NOT RUN

DO NOT get out your camera or approach the animal

DO NOT feed it

For more info click here.

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