This week’s unfortunate killing of a mountain lion by a man defending his puppy serves as a reminder that we all must be responsible stewards of our pets, of our property, and of the Wild. A little common sense goes a long way toward keeping you safe and protecting animals such as mountain lions and bears. If you live in lion country:
- Make lots of noise if you come and go during the times mountain lions are most active–dusk to dawn.
- Install outside lighting. Light areas where you walk so you could see a lion if one were present.
- Closely supervise children whenever they play outdoors. Make sure children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn. Talk with children about why lions are important to Nature, and teach them what to do if they meet one.
- Landscape or remove vegetation to eliminate hiding places for lions, especially around children’s play areas. Make it difficult for lions to approach unseen.
- Plant native shrubs and plants that deer don’t prefer to eat–thus discouraging them from coming in close to your living quarters. Predators follow prey.
- Keep your pet under control. Roaming pets are easy prey and can attract lions. Bring pets in at night. If you leave your pet outside, keep it in a kennel with a secure top. Don’t feed pets outside; this can attract raccoons and other animals that are eaten by lions. Store all garbage securely.
- Place livestock in enclosed sheds or barns at night. Close doors to all outbuildings since inquisitive lions may go inside for a look.
- Encourage your neighbors to follow these simple precautions. Prevention is far better than a possible lion confrontation.