Friday, August 29, 2008

Walking with mountain lions: four backcountry survival tips

The other day, I went on a twilight run through mountain lion territory. It was scary! Every time I heard something stalking around in the bushes, I thought a puma was going to leap out and bite me in half. It always turned out to be a quail, a woodrat or a sparrow, but still. From now on, I will remember these words of wisdom every time I'm walking through cougar territory:

1. Always hike in a group. The mountain lion will only eat your slow-moving, chubby friends and leave you alone.
2. If you see a mountain lion, stand on your tip-toes and stretch your arms high in the air to make yourself look larger. That way, the mountain lion will think there’s more to eat.
3. If you see a mountain lion, make as much noise as possible! That way, every cougar in the forest will know where you are.
5. And last, but not least: If a mountain lion attacks you, fight back! It will look funny on YouTube.

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