What to Do If You Encounter a Mountain Lion

Despite being a vast metropolitan area, Los Angeles has retained its wildlife, and spotting a mountain lion in the region is not unheard of. Contact animal control Calabasas whenever you encounter a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountain area.

Why are they common?

Mountain Lions’ Prevalence in the Santa Monica Mountains

Mountain lions are common in land parcels in Santa Susana and Santa Monica mountains adjacent to farms, freeways and suburban communities. They hunt, live and reproduce in such places.

Male lions prefer living in wooded areas close to water sources. These areas are ideal hunting grounds since these places remain underdeveloped. Mountain lions make more successful kills in isolated regions compared to developed areas. On the other hand, female mountain lions hunt far from wooded land. They hunt close to human settlements in a bid to avoid hostile males. They usually move around with their cubs as close relatives can quickly kill them.

Research reveals that the mule deer, a lions’ primary prey, have been migrating to developed areas over the years due to severe drought. Human-made water sources such as decorative ponds and swimming ponds lure them.

Although mountain lions aren’t endangered in California, several highways separate large groups of lions. However, they have a low genetic diversity compared to other animals.

What to Do When You See a Mountain Lion

lion in front of hollywood sign in Los Angeles Usually, mountain lions are calm, elusive and quiet. You can spot them in areas with dense vegetation such as Point Reyes National Seashore or in less dense areas like Griffith Park in the heart of Los Angeles. With deer being their main prey, these superior predators help control the deer population. If you just so happen to see one on an outdoor adventure, follow these steps:

  • Stay calm: Face the animal without fidgeting and walk away slowly. It helps in showing the animal that you’re prey.
  • Don’t approach: Avoid approaching a mountain lion, especially when it’s feeding or nursing cubs. Generally, lions try to avoid confrontations. Therefore, give lions space to escape.
  • Don’t run away: Running can trigger the lion’s instinct to chase you. Instead, stand upright and face the animal. Try to maintain eye contact with them. If you have young children, pick them up without losing eye contact with the lion.
  • Try to appear intimidating: If you’re wearing a jacket, open it and raise your arms to look huge. Wave your hand slowly to scare off the lion. If the lion isn’t intimidated, throw branches and stones toward it without turning back.

If you encounter a mountain lion while adventuring in the Santa Monica Mountains, follow the actions above. However, if the lion gets more aggressive or it seems others may be in danger in the area, contact Animal Capture Wildlife Control or the proper emergency authority depending on the situation. Lastly, take into consideration that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a mountain lion. But never forget these are indeed wild animals, and they can be a danger when encountered inappropriately.