COUGAR CONSERVANCY presentation offers ways to reduce cougar conflicts with people, pets and livestock
The Cougar Conservancy gave a presentation to the City Council on April 25 to provide information and resources to residents on how to reduce cougar-human conflicts. Cougars (mountain lions) are a protected and crucial part of the Santa Monica Mountains ecosystem, which includes all of the City of Malibu. Some steps include:
- Stay aware of your surroundings on hiking trails and other areas in and adjacent to wild areas of the Santa Monica Mountains, especially between dusk and dawn.
- When out walking or hiking with dogs, always keep them on leash, and consider not going alone.
- Eliminate hiding places on your property by trimming vegetation so that it is at least two feet off the ground and keeping hedges and bushes away from homes.
- Remove clutter from the backyard that may attract smaller animals that cougars prey on.
- Mountain lions are shy and normally avoid people. However, given an easy opportunity, they can and do kill and eat pets and livestock, and have (extremely rarely) attacked humans. In the rare event that you see a cougar in the wild, do not approach it, especially if it is eating or is with cubs. Stay calm and talk. In the even less likely event that a mountain lion approaches you, do not run away, or turn your back. Talk firmly to the animal, but give it a way to run off.
For more information and mountain lion safety tips, including videos, and for guidance on how to report and handle conflicts with cougars, visit the Cougar Conservancy, call 800-930-1087 or email Director@CougarConservancy.org.