Forest Service releases safety tips for recreating in mountain lion country

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) Recent reports of mountain lion activity in lower elevations reinforce the fact that mountain lions can be present just about anywhere. Mountain lions are active year round and their main food sources are deer, rabbits and other small mammals.

Mountain lions have extremely large territories. They sometimes roam more than 20 miles a day in search of new food sources or mates. This is especially true after young mountain lions leave their mother at about
a year and a half old.

The chances of seeing a mountain lion are highly unlikely, but people still need to be aware that lions live among us.

If you recreate in mountain lion country, here are a few guidelines to make your experience
-Hike with other people and make noise. Mountain lions usually will not bother groups of people.
-Keep a clean camp and store food and garbage in your vehicle or hang it between two trees where mountain lions (and bears) cannot reach it.
-When hiking with small children, keep the children in the group or in sight ahead of the group. Remember, mountain lions ambush from behind, so keeping a child in front of the main group will lessen the possibility of attack.
-Keep away from dead animals, especially deer or elk. This could be a kill that a lion is guarding or will be returning to. A mountain lion will defend its food.
-If hiking with pets, keep them on a leash and close to the group. Roaming pets will be open to mountain lion attacks.
-Try to minimize your recreation activities during dawn and dusk- the times mountain lions are most active.
– Respect any warning signs posted by agencies. It may not be a good time for outdoor adventuring.
-Make enough noise when hiking, cycling or running that you do not get too close without them hearing you coming. Lions that hear you coming will leave an area before you get there.
-If you encounter a mountain lion please alert the Division of Wildlife Resources.

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