Living away from the crowded cities means having your own piece of land and plenty of room for children and pets to play. However, it also means wildlife is just outside your back door.
Birds and squirrels may be amusing visitors, but inviting any form of wildlife often means you are opening the door for all kinds of critters, including the animals that prey upon them.
The best thing to do is to keep a barrier between you and the wildlife – it benefits everyone. By doing so, you will save your pets and livestock from becoming dinner and help keep out of trouble thereby ensuring they will not be killed for doing what comes naturally to them.
Put wildlife at a safe distance and make sure your furry loved ones are kept close and protected by following these simple steps.
- Be aware of your surroundings and act responsibly. Be especially alert at dawn or dusk, peak times for cougars.
- Consider hiking, biking and running with others. When in groups, you are less likely to surprise a cougar. If alone, consider carrying bear spray or attaching a bell to yourself or your backpack. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Supervise children and do not leave them unattended, especially at dawn or dusk (prime cougar hunting time). Instruct them about how to behave in the event of an encounter.
- Keep all garbage, pet food or food scraps indoors to avoid attracting prey and cougars.
- Do not feed wildlife (deer, rabbits or birds). Predators follow prey!
- Install outdoor lighting where you walk after dark or install motion-activated lighting.
- Seal off crawl spaces under deck areas to discourage cougars or other animals from bedding down under your home.
- Minimize vegetation in your yard where a cougar could hide and avoid planting foliage that attracts prey.
- Never approach a cougar!
- Keep pets secure, especially at night. Roaming pets and livestock, especially small dogs, cats, goats and sheep, are easy prey. Do not leave their food outside as it may attract raccoons which are also common cougar prey. Cougars follow prey.
Spread the Word
After following these simple steps, please let your neighbors know the value of taking the same precautions. A neighbor’s actions can still attract mountain lions into the area and increase everyone’s chances for a conflict.
And don’t forget to let people know to come to this website to learn about lions. While you may understand how to live peacefully with the local wildlife, your neighbors may not. Their appeal to a government agency may result in the senseless death of a mountain lion. Removing one mountain lion only opens that territory for a new cat to move in.