Today at Berkeley Lab

Reduce Your Chances of Encountering a Mountain Lion

To reduce the chances of encountering a mountain lion:

  • Avoid hiking or jogging alone, especially between dusk and dawn, when lions normally do their hunting. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to reduce the chances of surprising a lion.
  • Always keep children and pets in sight while hiking and within arm’s reach in areas that can conceal a lion.
  • Hike with a good walking stick; this can be useful in warding off a lion.

To reduce the chances of an attack when encountering a mountain lion:

  • Do not approach a lion, especially if it is feeding or with its young. Most lions will avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • 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.
  • Fight back if attacked. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. People have successfully fought back with rocks, sticks, or bare hands.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.

As a precaution, the use of isolated stairs and walkways at dawn, dusk, or in the evening is discouraged. To limit an interaction with a mountain lion, avoid hiking or jogging in the undeveloped areas around the Lab alone or at dawn, dusk, or night. For mountain lion sightings at Berkeley Lab, call 9-1-1.

More information about what to do in the event of a sighting can be found in the “Wildlife Sightings” section of the Berkeley Lab Emergency Guides.

For more information about mountain lions, go to these California Department of Fish and Wildlife FAQs: