Mountain lions are not usually aggressive toward humans, and most of them will retreat from a hiker as soon as they notice him. Every so often, however, a mountain lion feels threatened by a human or a group of humans and attacks to defend itself or its cubs. Hikers should never run from a predatory cat, because the cat may give chase. Instead, people should stand straight and meet the mountain lion's eyes. The first thing to do is to show the animal that you are not a four-legged creature it wants to eat.
1. Increase your size as much as you can. Raise your arms, spread your clothing and speak loudly and firmly. This can intimidate the mountain lion and show it that you are not its prey.
2. Throw branches or rocks toward the mountain lion if it does not retreat from you. Do not try to hit the animal; just try to scare it and let it know that you are a threat to it. Do not crouch down or bend over to reach objects to throw; continue to look as large as you can.
3. Change your aim to try to hit the mountain lion itself with rocks or sticks if it still does not retreat. Yell at it loudly and wave your arms.
4. Spray the animal with bear spray if you have any. If you have a firearm and it is legal in your state to discharge it at a protected species in self-defense, fire in its direction to scare it with the noise.
5. Tell a park ranger about your encounter after you have scared the mountain lion away. The park authorities need to know they have an aggressive animal in their area.
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