Playing it safe in cougar country

Here are tips on co-existing with mountain lions from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Keep Me Wild website:

■ Don't feed deer; it is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.

■ Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request "A Gardener's Guide to Preventing Deer Damage" from DFW offices.

■ Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.

■ Don't leave small children or pets outside unattended.

■ Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.

■ Provide sturdy, covered shelters for sheep, goats, and other vulnerable animals.

■ Don't allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active dawn, dusk, and at night.

■ Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey.

■ Don't hike, bike, or jog alone.

■ Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active -- at dawn, dusk, and at night.

■ Don't approach a mountain lion.

■ If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.

■ If attacked, fight back.


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