A hiker was injured on Wednesday while trying to defend their dog from a mountain lion attack. The attack took place in the Santa Monica mountains.
Mountain lion attacks dog during hike
According to CBS Los Angeles, a hiker was walking a small dog in the Santa Monica mountains. The dog was on a leash. Suddenly, a young mountain lion appeared and attacked the dog. The hiker bravely tried to defend the dog, suffering a puncture wound to the hand and a scratch in the process. Thankfully, the dog was not injured. However, a second young mountain lion was also spotted in the vicinity during the attack.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area officials ordered the closing of the Solstice Canyon area following the attack. Then, wildlife biologists arrived on the scene to assess the danger.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a Facebook post that the “area closure was instituted to give the lions time to leave the area and minimize the chances of any further conflict.”
Officials do not plan any further action at this time. The park is scheduled to reopen at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
How to keep your dog safe from mountain lions
When hiking with your dog in mountain lion territory, it’s crucial to prioritize safety for both yourself and your furry companion. Follow these guidelines to protect your dog from a potential mountain lion attack:
Leash your dog: A leash ensures your dog stays close and under control. This reduces the likelihood of them running off or attracting a mountain lion’s attention. The leash should be no longer than 6 feet in length.
Hike during daylight hours: Mountain lions are more active during dawn and dusk, so hike in the daytime to minimize encounters
Make noise: Talk loudly, play music, or carry a bear bell to alert wildlife to your presence.
Stay on designated trails: Avoid wandering off-trail, as this increases the risk of encountering wildlife.
Be vigilant: Keep a watchful eye on your surroundings, especially in areas with dense vegetation or rocky outcrops.
Travel in groups: Hiking with others provides safety in numbers and makes your group less appealing to mountain lions.
Stay calm (but go big): If you spot a mountain lion, don’t turn your back and run. Instead, make yourself appear larger, wave your arms, and make noise. If you are able, throw objects in the direction of the mountain lion. Back away slowly.
By following these precautions, you can minimize the risks of a mountain lion attack and enjoy a safe and memorable hike with your dog.