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Sonora Cougar Alert

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Sonora, CA – Check out the video in the image box showing a cougar on the prowling in the area of the Dragoon Gulch Trail in Sonora.

The big cat walked right past a ring camera on a home and does not even flinch when the motion light goes on, instead it just strolls right on past. City spokesperson Kim Campbell tells Clarke Broadcasting the city put out the advisory to alert anyone that may be using the trail or lives in the area. She added that the sighting was time-stamped at 11:43 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 11) and the residence is located right above the Alpine Lane parking lot adjacent to the trail.

While mountain lions are solitary and elusive, their nature is to avoid humans and they rarely attack, according to  the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, but if one is encountered the department offered the following safety tips:

  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone. Stay alert on trails.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active – dawn, dusk, and at night.
  • Keep a close watch on small children.
  • Off-leash dogs on trails are at increased risk of becoming prey for a mountain lion.
  • Never approach a mountain lion. Give them an escape route.
  • DO NOT RUN. Stay calm. Running may trigger chase, catch and kill response. Do not turn your back. Face the animal, make noise, and try to look bigger by waving your arms, or opening your jacket if wearing one; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
  • Do not crouch down or bend over. Squatting puts you in a vulnerable position of appearing much like a 4-legged prey animal.
  • Be vocal; however, speak calmly and do not use high-pitched tones or high pitch screams.
  • Teach others how to behave during an encounter. Anyone who runs may initiate an attack.
  • If a lion attacks, fight back. Research on mountain lion attacks suggests that many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, garden tools, even an ink pen or bare hands. Try to stay on your feet. If knocked down, try to protect head and neck.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.