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[RC] Lion attacks 4 horses - Melissa Margetts Ms. Kitty

I'm sad to read that these horses were attacked. Especially after our recent thread on ridecamp about trying to diffuse our horses fear of predators on the trail. Dang! This just keeps us in that limbo of fear and desire to shoot them all. A mountain lion stays with it's mother till it is 1 1/2 years to 2 years learning it's hunting and survival skills. Unfortunately, It is usually the young and inexperienced ones that are just learning to hunt, or are newly trying to establish their own territories, that end up going after prey that is not a normal and natural part of their diet. There are many reports by ranchers about mother lions and kittens that have just decimated a flock of sheep during lambing season and left many of the dead just while being on a hunting lesson. USUALLY, a Mountain Lion prefers to hunt deer and rabbit and other small prey that they can easily find in their natural back yards, rather than risking creeping in to hunt in areas that are more open, (like pastures) with lest ground cover from which they can hide and stalk their prey. (they are "ambush" hunters) Mountain Lions are hunted using dogs and the sound of a barking dog is like fingernails on a chalkboard to most of them and they flee up a tree. But the high pitched yip and movements of a SMALL dog just screams "hors devours" to a lion. I often hike with my big dog but NEVER with my little dog here in lion country. It sounds like these were very brave ponies to have survived and chased off this young lion. Just one last note if a HUMAN is to encounter a Lion on the trail, the key things to remember are : DON"T RUN! (it triggers the chase) LOOK BIG! ( open your Jacket over your head, or put your arms up in the air. and when with other people, pick you kids up and crowd together. It looks very intimidating to the predator) YELL in your deepest loudest voice to not only let others know you need help but to /possibly/ scare the lion. If by the slightest chance, you are attacked, FIGHT BACK! They are serious and deadly and this would be a fight for your life. Try and protect your neck and head if you can. Then,..... Things NOT to do.....Don't curl up on the ground and play dead like you would if a bear attack is imminent. Lions don't react the same as bears. Don't try to climb a tree or rock, they can jump over 12 ft' vertical from a stand still. don't try to outrun it. They have a very small lung capacity but are good sprinters for shorts distances. Best to have more info to use a tools than feeling totally helpless and constantly in fear of what MIGHT happen in lion country. Lion attacks on humans is indeed rare but can happen. Think Safely, act Wisely, and enjoy where you live. Melissa


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