Something worthy of fear

This morning, as I was out on my bike ride, having just done the climb up Bogert Trail and come down the other side, I was flagged down by a police officer in a cruiser. She said that there was a mountain lion prowling in the area, so I should be very careful. She said to keep scanning all around and look well ahead, and if I saw the animal, not to approach it. Another cyclist also told me that the animal was in the area, and added that — like corgis — they like to chase bikes.

Since several cyclists have been attacked by mountain lions in Southern California in the last few years, I was very concerned. Fortunately, I didn't even catch sight of the moutain lion, and I got home safely. No doubt, even with a puma known to be in the area, I was more likely to be hurt by a car. But somehow that doesn't scare me as much. As I was riding up the main road away from the canyon area and back towards home, I saw a large number of police cruisers and at least one TV crew heading down there, so I guess it is regarded as a fairly serious matter.

Tags: ,

Edited 8/3/2005 to change "killed" to "attacked", to be more consistent with objective reality.

Comments:

And I thought we had it bad. I hate to think how fast a mountain lion is but it might be just the thing to get you to the top of your hill in record time. A German Shepherd once did that for me and the consequences of being caught, while painful were unlikely to have been fatal.

Posted by Chris Gerhard on July 05, 2005 at 03:29 AM PDT #

"several" cyclists have been killed? I thought it was just one.

Posted by Fritz on August 02, 2005 at 03:00 PM PDT #

My recollection differs, but memory is notoriously fallible. Certainly "several" cyclists have been attacked. I will attempt to find some hard numbers on this.

Posted by Terry Heatlie on August 02, 2005 at 11:47 PM PDT #

According to this Fritz is correct. Only one cyclist in California has ever been killed by a mountain lion. However, there have been multiple attacks, and not all by the same animal. I apologise for the initial misinformation, and I've edited the entry to reflect more accurate details.

Posted by Terry Heatlie on August 03, 2005 at 12:10 AM PDT #

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