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The cougar is one of nature’s finest predators, but with the right precautions, you can survive an attack.
Step 1: Be alert
Be alert at all times, especially when in dense cover. The best way to survive a cougar attack is to avoid one in the first place.
Step 2: Stay in groups
Stay in groups when in cougar territory. Lone individuals are much more at risk.
Step 3: Remain calm
Remain calm if you are spotted. Panic may send the cougar into a frenzy.
Don’t ever try to run away—the slender, agile body of the cougar can propel it up to 35 miles per hour, far faster than an Olympic sprinter.
Step 4: Look big
Stand up and spread your arms. Making yourself look bigger and more imposing might frighten the cat away.
Step 5: Maintain eye contact
Maintain eye contact and do not turn your back—this may seem counterintuitive, but you don’t want the cougar to get the drop on you.
Step 6: Back away slowly
Back away slowly without letting the cougar out of your sight.
Do not approach or entice the cougar! While it may be exciting to see one in its natural habitat, offering food or drink or trying to get a picture with it may provoke an attack!
Step 7: Check for aggression
Check for signs of aggression, like advancing movement, bared teeth, a fixed stare, or crouching, as if to pounce.
Step 8: Become more assertive
Become more assertive if the cougar begins to move in on you—shout, wave, throw things, and try to get to higher ground.
Step 9: Fight back
If she pounces, you have no choice but to fight back. Try to stay on your feet and be sure to protect your head and neck.
Step 10: Don’t play dead
Whatever you do, don’t play dead—this will likely cause the cougar to drag you to a private area and have its way with you.
Did You Know?
The cougar can jump as high as 18 feet from a sitting position.