See Hikers Encounter with Mountain Lion on Malibu Trail – NBC Los Angeles

A close encounter of the big cat kind was filmed in Malibu.

A group of hikers came face to face Thursday with a mountain lion on a trail in the Nicholas Flat area near Decker School Road.

Austin Podrat and his 6 year old daughter were part of the hike. She was playing with other children near a pond when they were startled by a mountain lion which appeared behind them.

“When I turned to walk out, with the group right behind me, I took three steps and found an adult mountain lion 5 feet from us to my right,” Podrat said in an email. at NBCLA. “He had certainly slipped behind us while the children were playing and was probably intrigued by the noise of young children.”

The mountain lion looked at the group, ran about 25 feet, then stopped again and looked at the hikers. That’s when Podrat captured video and photos that show the big cat eventually turning around and running away as someone shouted, “Get out of here.”

“This event was quite concerning because the puma was definitely not there when we approached the lake and had snuck up just 5 feet away from us while we were playing with the kids,” said Podrat, who explored the coast. mountains for decades, said. “I have lived and explored these mountains for 42 years and have never encountered one until today.”

There are about 4,000 to 6,000 cougars in California, but wildlife officials call that a rough estimate with no ongoing statewide study. More than half of the state is considered prime habitat for big cats, which can be found wherever deer are present.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife receives hundreds of mountain lion sighting reports each year. Rare are the instances where mountain lions are identified as an imminent threat to public safety, the department said. Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare and their nature is to avoid humans.

A 7-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion while at Pico Canyon Park at Stevenson Ranch, authorities say. The boy was hospitalized and treated for bite wounds.

Here is a list of recommendations if you encounter a mountain lion in the wild.

  • Don’t hike, bike, or jog alone. Stay alert on the trails.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when cougars are most active – at dawn, dusk and at night.
  • Supervise small children closely.
  • Dogs off leash on the trails are at increased risk of becoming preyed upon by a mountain lion.
  • Never approach a cougar. Give them an escape.
  • DO NOT RUN. Stay calm. Running can trigger a chase, grab, and kill response. Don’t turn your back. Face the animal, make noise, and try to look taller by waving your arms or opening your jacket if you’re wearing one; throw stones or other objects. Pick up little kids.
  • Do not squat or bend over. Crouching puts you in a vulnerable position where you look like 4-legged prey.
  • Be vocal; however, speak calmly and do not use high-pitched tones or high-pitched shouts.
  • Teach others how to behave in a meeting. Anyone running can launch an attack.
  • If a lion attacks, retaliate. Research into mountain lion attacks suggests that many potential victims have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, gardening tools, even an ink pen or bare hands. Try to stay upright. In the event of a rollover, try to protect your head and neck.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, call 911 immediately.
  • Report unusual mountain lion behavior to your local CDFW regional office.

It is estimated that the Santa Monica mountain lion population could disappear within 50 years without an influx of genetic diversity. The lions are largely isolated due to highways which act as barriers to movement in the area.

Conservationists hope the $85 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which will span Highway 101 in Liberty Canyon near Agoura Hills, will fix the problem when it’s completed in 2025. It will be the largest crossing of its kind in the world — a landscaped wildlife crossing that will span 210 feet across 10 highway and carriageway lanes.

The interbreeding aims to provide a connection between the small population of cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains and the larger, genetically diverse populations to the north.

About Ethel Partin

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