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Mountain Lions Are Terrified Of One Thing -- The Sound Of A Human Voice

Jun 30, 2017 09:52 AM EDT

Apparently, Rush Limbaugh's voice is scary enough to send a mountain lion running the other way.

According to a new study conducted by the University of California, mountain lions (also known as pumas) flee at the sound of humans. In this case, it was the sound of Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow.

"People allude to this idea all the time -- that mountain lions are more afraid of us than we are of them. But science has never shown that before," said Chris Wilmers, UC Santa Cruz environmental studies professor. "When people go out hiking, some have a fear that mountain lions are going to attack them. But it turns out that mountain lions are quite afraid of people."

Researchers completed 29 experiments in total, featuring 17 different mountain lions. Only to find that the lions fled 83 percent of the time when exposed to Limbaugh and Maddow's voice.

Not only did the lions flee, but they were also hesitant to return to their hard-earned dinner.

"We found that pumas took longer to return to their kills after hearing people, and subsequently reduced their feeding on kills by about half," said researcher Justine Smith.

Smith noted, however, that the lions fear the sound of a human's voice, regardless of who the person is.

"Pumas are nonpartisan in their hatred of American politics," Smith said.

Executive director of the Mountain Lion Foundation, Lynn Cullens says she hopes this research can help alleviate their fear and develop a way to stop them from wandering into suburban/residential areas.

"It's rational to be afraid of an animal that could do damage to you," she said. "But it's important to put that in perspective. If you normally take a hike in the woods with your friend or your spouse in the evening, the risk of being attacked by a mountain lion is so low that the risk is greater to your health if you don't take your walk."

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