Mountain Lion Safety

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Click here for the Arroyo Verde Park Trail Map & Wildlife & Plant Safety Tips Brochure or illustrated version and Bobcat/Mountain Lion Info

Ventura's hills are a natural mountain lion habitat. Their primary prey is deer, but they have also been known to attack livestock and pets, and on very rare occasions, humans.Mountain lions are generally solitary, ellusive and avoid human contact. However, as recent sightings in and near Arroyo Verde park demonstrate, this is not always the case.

Here are some tips for ensuring your safety while visiting our hillside parks:
  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active -- dawn, dusk, and at night.
  • Keep a close watch on small children.
  • Do not 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.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.

Identification:  Mountain Lion or Bobcat?

Bobcats, which are also active in Ventura's hills, are often mistaken for mountain lions. Mountain lions are generally much bigger – 75-100 lbs, while Bobcats average 15-30 lbs. Bobcats get their name for their short "bobbed" tails, while mountain lions have long tails, at least half their body length.

Note the short "bobbed" tail on this bobcat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mountain Lion and Dog tracks
The mountain lion track on the left can be distinguished from the dog track on the right by the absence of toenail prints and by the "M" shaped pad

Source: California Department Fish and Game "Keep Me Wild" Campaign