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Mountain lion spotted on Mount Helena

Posted at 3:07 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 17:35:08-04

HELENA — The City of Helena is asking people to use caution after a mountain lion was spotted on Mount Helena recently.

According to a Facebook the encounter happened on the Old Chevy Trail on the west side of the park. The post did not say when the encounter happened.

The city offered tips for minimizing and avoiding mountain lion encounters.

  • Don’t hike or run at dawn or dusk. Mountain lions are most active during these times.
  • Don’t let pets run unleashed. This is a sensitive point with dog owners who love to run with their four-legged partners, but a running dog can trigger a cat’s predatory response and even lead a mountain lion back to the pet owner.
  • Never run or hike alone. Go with a friend or in a group.
  • Keep children close while on the trail. Small children running ahead may attract a mountain lion.
  • Carry a deterrent device such as capsicum spray and know how to use it.

And if you do come across a mountain lion take steps to minimize or avoid an attack.

  • Never approach a mountain lion. Slowly back away.
  • Never run from a mountain lion. Quick movements may trigger an attack.
  • Appear larger than they are by raising the arms above the head or steadily waving a jacket. Do not bend over which will make a person look “smaller” to the mountain lion.
  • Maintain eye contact to show the animal that you are aware of its presence.
  • Talk or yell loudly. Let others in the area know what the situation is.
  • If hikers are traveling with small children, pull them to close or pick them up without bending over.
  • Carry a deterrent device such as capsicum spray and know how to use it.
  • Be prepared to fight with a branch or rock or pepper spray. Do not “play dead.”