Residents of Saugus reported seeing mountain lions on Sunday evening, raising safety concerns for people and animals in the area.
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According to the SantaClarita.com, the wild cats were spotted around the hills of Tula Drive, a cul-de-sac east of Seco Canyon Road.
Although the mountain lions did not attack any people or pets, precautions should be taken to ensure the safety of people and animals. This is not the first sighting of wildcats in Santa Clarita. Mountain lions have been suspected in pet attacks in the past.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers several tips on living in close proximity with wild animals.
Mountain lions tend to be quiet, solitary and elusive and typically avoid people. Although mountain lion attacks are extremely rare, conflicts are increasing as human population expands into mountain lion habitat.
Don’t hike alone. Go in groups, with adults supervising children.
Keep the children close to you. Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.
Do not approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
Do not run from a mountain lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so they don’t panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.
Do not crouch down or bend over. In Nepal, a researcher studying tigers and leopards watched the big cats kill cattle and domestic water buffalo while ignoring humans standing nearby. He surmised that a human standing up is just not the right shape for a cat’s prey. On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a four-legged prey animal. If you are in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over.
Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms; open your jacket if you are wearing one; pick up small children; throw stones, branches or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back; wave your arm slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.
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Source: Santa Clarita News