May Kolob backpacking trip w/pixie & Steve

Laura

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I couldn't find the thread so I'm starting this one:
Zion National Park

April 15
Mountain lions have recently been reported on the Taylor Creek Trail in the Kolob Canyons area of the park. While encounters with these elusive felines are rare, would you know what to? We’ll post our safety tips later today.

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    Riana Martinez, Margie Benton, Dawn Farrelland 2,142 others like this.



  • Zion National Park
    Though mountain lions are secretive and sightings are rare, they have been observed in the park recently. For your safety, watch children closely and don’t let them run ahead or lag behind. Solo hiking or jogging is not recommended. Never approach a mountain lion, and make sure it has room to escape. If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run. Try to look large. Wave your arms and throw rocks or sticks at it. If attacked, fight back. Please report any


    Taylor Creek isn't far from LaVerkin Creek, especially if you're a mountain lion. I guess I won't be walking around by myself taking night shots. I'm laughing out loud-sorry guys, this is the kind of luck I bring on trips! :frantic:
 

DAA

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<shrug>

I'm always thrilled to see one and would go out of my way for the opportunity. They are plentiful throughout Utah. Common as dirt, really. But so secretive and mostly nocturnal that actually seeing one isn't very common. Most that I have seen, I have called in by making prey in distress sounds. Only a handful have I just bumped into over the years and only one of those seemed to have any interest in trying to eat me - but he didn't really try very hard. Just stalked me for awhile. It was awesome!

- DAA
 

Laura

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<shrug>

I'm always thrilled to see one and would go out of my way for the opportunity. They are plentiful throughout Utah. Common as dirt, really. But so secretive and mostly nocturnal that actually seeing one isn't very common. Most that I have seen, I have called in by making prey in distress sounds. Only a handful have I just bumped into over the years and only one of those seemed to have any interest in trying to eat me - but he didn't really try very hard. Just stalked me for awhile. It was awesome!

- DAA

I'd love to have an experience like that and I've always wanted to see one in the wild as well. But a few of the mountain lion deaths here in CA have been in areas close to me so I don't want to meet a hungry one. Maybe because Utah has more wild areas than SoCal, the mountain lions tend to be just curious about humans? They have plenty of habitat and deer there, whereas in SoCal when you meet a mountain lion it most likely has been pushed out of its habitat. Just thinking out loud. In any case, I'm still going to be extra careful at dawn/dusk to not look like prey, and hope I have my camera ready if one does show up.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
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I've never seen one in the wild, but I would be psyched if we saw one on this trip. I would probably feel a little differently if I was solo. I'm always worried that I'm short enough that they'll think I'm easy pickins. Lol!
 

Laura

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I've never seen one in the wild, but I would be psyched if we saw one on this trip. I would probably feel a little differently if I was solo. I'm always worried that I'm short enough that they'll think I'm easy pickins. Lol!

I'm short too, so if you and I stick together like a herd we should be okay. :cool:
 

DAA

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I'd love to have an experience like that and I've always wanted to see one in the wild as well. But a few of the mountain lion deaths here in CA have been in areas close to me so I don't want to meet a hungry one. Maybe because Utah has more wild areas than SoCal, the mountain lions tend to be just curious about humans? .

No.

It's real simple. Lions get hunted by humans in Utah. Any traits that would encourage a lack of caution and fear of humans, have remained repressed, by hunting. Lions in Utah - speaking in general terms - aren't the least bit curious about humans. They're scared shitless of humans.

Lions are totally protected in California and that is the reason, plain, pure and simple, why people are getting attacked by them there and not here.

Everyone, and I mean everyone involved in wildlife management predicted this when the protection went into effect in California.

- DAA
 

Laura

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No.

It's real simple. Lions get hunted by humans in Utah. Any traits that would encourage a lack of caution and fear of humans, have remained repressed, by hunting. Lions in Utah - speaking in general terms - aren't the least bit curious about humans. They're scared shitless of humans.

Lions are totally protected in California and that is the reason, plain, pure and simple, why people are getting attacked by them there and not here.

Everyone, and I mean everyone involved in wildlife management predicted this when the protection went into effect in California.

- DAA

I respectfully disagree with everything you stated. Loss of habitat by development is the main reason we have mountain lion attacks in CA.

Here's an interesting article about a mountain lion that lives in Griffith Park and the effects of lack of habitat (for anyone not familiar with CA, that's right in Los Angeles).

http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/04/17/43547/griffith-park-mountain-lion-contracts-mange/

The mountain lion population is small-in San Diego it's estimated that there are 12 lions, and 3 million people. When hunting mountain lions was legal in CA, they were almost eliminated-which resulted in the law banning hunting them.
 
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DAA

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No.

The evidence and data don't support that at all. I'll not just respectfully disagree, but encourage you to do a little research.

Simply look at the attack data itself. It isn't correlated with development or habitat reduction. It's correlated with the hunting ban. The lion lovers themselves admit that there had only been two verified attacks in California, ever, prior to the ban in 1990. Both on small young children. Neither of which was fatal.

There have been at least a dozen verified attacks, including fatalities, since the ban. Most on adults. Two attacks in the approximately 90 years before the ban for which verifiable data exist. A dozen attacks in the 23 years since the ban.

The ban going into effect was only 1990. Habitat encroachment could not begin to explain that much escalation in attacks over that time period.

Like I said, people who work with this stuff for a living all predicted these attacks when the ban went into effect. One of my best friends is one of the highest level wildlife biologists in the country, he's a large predator specialist with Federal Wildlife Services. His entire career has been spent studying wolves, lions and bears. He thought and still thinks the lion hunting ban in California is just about the stupidest move any wildlife department anywhere has ever made. The ban was not based on wildlife management or scientific data. It was based on the emotions of the voters of California. In addition to attacks on people, research how the big horn sheep and other animals that lions eat are doing in California. It's simple cause and effect.

That California has more lions than the available habitat can reasonably support I will agree. And that the over population of lion is a major factor in the exponential increase in attacks I will agree. But both of these are issues which are directly addressed and managed by hunting in every other western state where lion are native.

- DAA
 

Laura

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We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one (though I would love to talk to your friend).

BTW, CA's moratorium on mountain lion hunting started on March 1, 1972. It became law in 1990.
 
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Laura

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And that the over population of lion is a major factor in the exponential increase in attacks I will agree. - DAA

No-not overpopulation of lions, overpopulation of humans in CA. Regarding your statement that there were 2 documented mountain lion attacks before 1970, I'd encourage you to do some research as well-namely the increase in the human population/development of California since 1970 (hint-according to census data California's population increased from 19 million in 1970 to 38 million in 2010-the population more than doubled). It flies in the face of logic to think that a hunting ban has caused 14 mountain lion encounters while ignoring the development and habitat loss that 20 million new people in the state bring. That loss of habitat is why there are mountain lion encounters, not the hunting ban. Loss of habitat as development increases forces them into contact with humans, as does a loss of prey due to development. As I stated earlier, San Diego has an estimated 12 mountain lions and 3+ million people. Hunting the 12 isn't going to solve the lack of habitat problem, unless you consider reducing their population as ours increases until there isn't any room for them at all a solution. The mountain lion population/habitat in the United States has decreased dramatically in general over the last century, though a lot of that is attributable to bounty hunting, not managed hunting.

Some facts on mountain lions in CA from the CA Dept. of Fish and Game:
https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/lion/lion_faq.html
 
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