A teenager managed to walk away from an encounter with a mountain lion in a Reno, Nevada, neighborhood with just some minor scratches.
The teenage girl was walking her dog on the morning of November 10 when she was approached by the mountain lion.
“It happened in a neighborhood that’s pretty populated,” Ashley Sanchez, a public information officer for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, told Newsweek. “Mountain lions are so elusive, it’s rare to see them, let alone be approached by them.”
Sanchez said the agency contacted the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services to locate the mountain lion. It found the animal, and it was euthanized.
According to the agency, mountain lions are typically found in areas with rocky terrain throughout the state, and they avoid areas with “human disturbance.”
“Occasionally they will be spotted passing through the outskirts of urban areas where food is readily available,” the department reported.
What To Do If A Mountain Lion Crosses Your Path
If someone comes across a mountain lion, they should avoid approaching it and should not run away from it.
Instead, they should slowly back away and give it space to leave.
“In the rare event of an attack—always fight back,” the department said. “Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back. People have fought back with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands successfully.”
The details of the incident remain somewhat unclear, but officials are working to piece it together.
“We don’t know how or why this happened,” Sanchez said.
She added that the dog was not injured, and the mountain lion seemed to have approached the teenage girl before swiping at her. What happened between the moment that the animal swiped at the teenager and the moment it ran off is unknown.
“She did enough to scare the mountain lion away,” Sanchez said.
Though the teenager’s injuries were minimal, the incident was treated as an attack because the mountain lion made contact with her.
The agency has gotten additional reports of mountain lion sightings in the area. While attacks are rare, there are steps people are encouraged to take to deter these animals from coming onto their properties, per the state’s wildlife department.
How To Keep Mountain Lions Away
Homeowners should remove anything that can attract deer or other prey animals, like birdseed, pet food and fallen fruit.
“Deer are one of the top food sources for mountain lions, so if they are in your yard, a lion could be too,” the agency advised.
Motion-activated lights or sprinklers can be used to scare away mountain lions as well.
And, parents should ensure their children are inside before dusk and not outside before dawn.
There have been other recent reports of animal attacks.
Earlier this month, a woman was attacked by an owl––twice, and one man last month was attacked by a bear when he went to investigate a strange noise. But it’s not just humans having an issue with wild animals; a dog escaped from a pack of coyotes that were seen chasing after it.
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