By Dale Rodebaugh
Herald Staff Writer
While encounters with mountain lions are rare, people can take steps to reduce the chance of bumping into one, according to Patt Dorsey, the Colorado Division of Wildlife regional manager in Durango.
Among Dorsey's suggestions:
• Mountain lions hunt by ambush. Clearing brush around a house denies them a place to hide.
• Motion-activated outdoor lighting around a house discourages predators. They could become accustomed to an unvarying source of light.
• Food set out for wildlife doesn't attract mountain lions, but the animals that come to feed do.
• People who hike or jog in the hills would do well to travel in at least pairs.
• Make noise. Let lions know you're in the area.
• If confronted by a mountain lion, make yourself look bigger by holding you jacket or coat open. If you have a backpack, raise it over your head.
• Don't run and don't scream.
• Stand firm, speak in a loud, firm voice and back away if possible.
• If attacked, fight for your life.