Poo ID + are my mountain lion fears unfounded?

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Poo ID + are my mountain lion fears unfounded?

Postby Wildhorse » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:35 pm

Ed, I think you have summarized our risks and fears well. The lack of control we have over mountain lions, snakes and other natural dangers in wilderness is why we feel more anxiety about those dangers than we do on the road. If a mountain lion decides to prey upon us, we can do little to protect ourselves.

Meanwhile, West Nile virus has attacked some people by mosquito in Elysian Valley just outside of downtown LA. Scary. Mosquito scat is hard to see.
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Re: Poo ID + are my mountain lion fears unfounded?

Postby cynthia23 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:49 pm

Great post with a lot of wise responses. I agree that the 'rare' odds are incorrect in that they aren't factoring the actual odds of people who engage in activities where there are mountain lions running around at night. The Cahuilla have a lot of stories of people being attacked by mountain lions which suggests that people who spend a lot of time outdoors face a fairly high risk. I have known way too many people who have met up with them in the wild, including myself (it followed me, which was really really frightening) to be fearless about it. I definitely would not sit out at night in a canyon where you saw a lot of scat--I don't think that would be sensible even from a sanguine point of view. I think the chances of attack in that situation are actually fairly high--who knows how high, but more than none. Even if it's 'only' a two percent risk, that means two times out of a hundred it will attack. I carry a small airhorn sometimes as I am told they are effective in scaring off bears--remains to be seen whether it would work with a mountain lion especially since they usually attack sneakily from behind. People in Southeast Asia sometimes wear face masks on the back of their heads while working in the fields to fool tigers. I met someone on Skyline once hiking who was doing this with a Halloween mask. Looked a bit crazy but made him feel better, which is perhaps the point of these security blankets.

I remember a while ago someone on here posted about camping up near Round Valley and in the middle of the night, very close, hearing what they thought was a blood-curdling woman's scream--they later googled it and found that it is actually the sound of a mountain lion scream. It makes me shiver just to think of it. :shock:

O yeah, almost forgot--guy named Rob who used to camp on SKyline in a tent told me that one time, while he was sleeping at about 5k, he was awakened in the night by *something* attacking the tent--shaking it, trying to get in, etc. He was a very placid guy so basically he just ignored it and it went away. In the morning he found some tears in the tent. Who knows what it was but I don't think it was a cute fuzzy little rabbit.
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Re: Poo ID + are my mountain lion fears unfounded?

Postby backpackpack » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:03 pm

Hello all,

I guess what I came here for was someone to say "You are 100% ok, and you can sit in a chair in the dark in a mountain lion canyon all night and they won't eat you".


I failed to realize there was a second page to this thread before I originally replied. Thank you very much for all of the information. I often solo camp in Anza Borrego back in Palm Canyon but I've never seen mountain lion scat (or anything but sheep poop). I do the same thing there - sit outside reading or looking at the stars until bedtime. I do shine my light around once in a while, I've seen a pair of orange eyes shine back in the distance a few times but have no way of knowing what they belonged to.

I also walk into the washes and camp, but never see scat except for maybe rabbit droppings.

cynthia23, your post pretty much aligns with exactly how I felt and came here in hopes of having my mind changed. It is probably pretty rare that I'd get attacked, but there is still some risk. Maybe a high risk. The further back I walked into the canyon, seeing no signs of any other humans ever being there, and mountain lion poop, and charactaristic scuff marks in the dirt, and a distinct large paw print that at first made me think "that's odd, there aren't bear here", made me think it was probably not a good idea to set up camp in the middle of a long narrow canyon and sit outside alone in a chair.

I love going places where there are no people. Any ideas, friends?
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