An outdoor adventure could be something that most people would relish experiencing as it equals fun and excitement. For some, it could be a hobby. For others, it could be an occasional reprieve from an otherwise stressful living. But what if one carefully planned outdoor adventure is turned into a horrible nightmare because of a mountain lion attack?
This is what Jim Hamm experienced as he went for a hike with his wife, Nell, at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California. If not for the bravery of his wife who fought off the cougar who ripped him by the head, he would have died at the age of 70.
If you were in the shoes of Jimm and Nell Hamm, what would you have done? There are a few basic tips so that you can survive or even avoid a mountain lion attack. First, before you even plan that hike, it is a must that you do some research especially when it is your first time in the area.
As they say, being forewarned is being forearmed. Although it is a good decision toforego a hike in an area where there could be dangerous lions lurking around but your adventurous spirit wouldn’t let you run from the challenge, well, you definitely need to arm yourself with some do’s and don’ts in case there is an encounter.
You should know that lions are very active at dusk, night and dawn. As such, it would be a good idea to not go out at this time. If this cannot be avoided and you have an encounter with a lion, try to swallow your fear and act like you are as fierce as the lion is by yelling or act assertive. Do not run nor crouch because the animal will sense your fear and will have the upper hand. In majority of the encounters, a mountain lion usually retreats when it senses that the would-bevictim is not afraid.
In case the mountain lion attacks, do what Nell Hamm did for Jim – fight back. Do not surrender and just let it take your life without a fight. If Nell allowed the cougar to devour her husband, she would not have had spent another second with him alive.
Another lesson here is that you should, if possible, always try to enjoy the outdoors with a partner or a group. This way, you would have someone to fight off the lion for you in case he snags you. Plus, if you have kids with you, make sure that they are always in sight. Ensure that they do not stray away because a lone child is a good target for hungry lions.
The best weapon against a mountain lion attack is preparedness –mentally and physically. You cannot enjoy an outdoor adventure if you let your worries and fears get the best of you. Know the area, overcome your fear but always assume that there will be a mountain lion to surprise you. With this, you will always be alert and always on your toes.