Dinosaur Monument Officials Warn of Mountain Lion Encounters

mountail-lion-300x300Staff at Dinosaur National Monument are reminding visitors that they are visiting mountain lion country when traveling in the monument, especially in the backcountry and along the river canyons.  On Tuesday, July 22nd, fresh evidence of an animal killed by a mountain lion was found in the Echo Park area.  A 72-hour closure was placed on the area immediately around the kill site to minimize disturbance of the mountain lion as it feeds. The closure has now been lifted. Prior to this event, a visitor on a rafting trip on the Green River noticed a mountain lion watching him from a ledge above the Rippling Brook campsite.  Visitors are reminded that although mountain lions, also known as cougars, are rare to see, all of Dinosaur National Monument is suitable habitat. Visitors should take appropriate precautions when recreating within the monument.  Hikers, boaters, and campers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report mountain lion sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station.

Visitors should remember the following safety tips:
To prevent an encounter:
• Don’t hike or jog alone
• Keep children within sight and close to you
• Avoid dead animals
• Keep a clean camp
• Leave pets at home
• Be alert to your surroundings
• Use a walking stick
If you meet a mountain lion:
• Don’t run, as this may trigger a cougar’s attack instinct
• Stand and face it
• Pick up children
• Appear large, wave arms or jacket over your head
• Do not approach, back away slowly
• Keep eye contact
If you encounter a mountain lion and it acts aggressive:
• Do not turn your back or take your eyes off it
• Remain standing
• Throw things
• Shout loudly
• Fight back aggressively

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