The Rocky Mountains are a wondrous place and they contain a large variety of wildlife, but not all of it is safe. Wild animals are just that, wild; so it is important to know what to do when you encounter one during your guided backpacking trips in Estes Park. In our last blog we discussed what you should do if you meet a black bear; in this blog we will be talking about mountain lions.
Mountain lions are incredibly common in the Rocky Mountain National Park, but they aren’t often seen. That is because mountain lions are incredibly elusive, which is why spotting a mountain lion is rare and attacks are even more rare, but it is important to know what to do just in case. The following is a list of a few tips that can help you to stay safe in case of a mountain lion encounter:
- Stay at a safe distance away, and absolutely never approach a mountain lion. Mountain lions will typically avoid confrontations at all costs, but if you threaten one, especially if it is feeding its young, it may attack.
- Try to stay calm and hold your ground. If you turn and run it will trigger a predatory response. You can slowly back away, but don’t turn your back on the lion.
- Do your best to appear larger. You can do this by grabbing a nearby stick and raising your arms.
- If the lion starts to behave aggressively, respond by throwing sticks or rocks at it, waving your arms and shouting. When you do this you are attempting to convince the lion that you are a dangerous predator yourself, rather than prey.
- If after everything the mountain lion does attack, fight back!