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Are Mountain Lions More Dangerous Than Humans? California Residents Startled by Large Feline Sightings

Apr 11, 2017 06:00 AM EDT
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A family in California was startled when a mountain lion suddenly entered their home.

Mark Dolph, a resident of Pollock Pines, told KXTV that he saw the large feline when he tried to find out what has caused his house cats to run scared.

He immediately gathered his family and instructed them to go to the kitchen to hide. Afterwhich, he called 911 for help. It took half an hour before the help arrived. Fortunately, the mountain lion left the house without harming the family.

Mountain Lion Sightings Spur Fears

This is not the first time a mountain lion roamed in the area of California. Last year, another mountain lion was spotted wandering in a Lakeside neighborhood.

Speaking to NBC San Diego, Michael, who lives on Green Lane, claimed he had repeatedly captured sightings of the mountain lion on his home surveillance cameras.

"It's kind of scary, when you walk out in the morning. I don't go to work ‘til 8 a.m. but the [mountain lion] is up at the crack of dawn and that's usually when he's roaming," said Michael. "Makes me want to keep my son inside and my dogs inside, you know, cause who knows if he's hungry."

Meanwhile, despite numerous sightings, California Wildlife noted that mountain lion attacks on people are extremely rare. Since 1986, there had only been 14 human attacks, three of which were fatal.

Human Activity Poses Danger to Mountain Lions

The growing expansion of urban development in the California wilderness is blurring the habitat distinction between humans and wild animals. Although it may seem like these animals are threat to humans, wildlife experts claim that humans are actually more threatening to the mountain lion's population.

Orange County Register reported that in the last 15 years, humans are responsible for more than two-dozen local cougar deaths, citing that aside from habitat displacement, the main cause of death for mountain lions is being hit by motor vehicles and shot by people.

"The mountain lions were here first and we are in their natural habitat," County Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. "People forget these are rugged county parks and open space that is directly adjacent to and abuts wilderness."

Mountain lions are a protected species in California, yet number of deaths have been increasing in the past years.

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