Beware of Mountain Lions

photo 1 (4)

The sunset from Poly Mountain in San Luis Obispo, Ca.

To everybody who plans on visiting California…WARNING: mountain lions, wild turkeys, rattle snakes, and bears roam these seemingly innocuous golden hills and luscious valleys.  How these mountains paralyze you with their captivating beauty while simultaneously feeding you with spontaneity and adrenaline!  They just plead for you to frolic through them like a baby deer without a worry.  In a place like this, it’s hard to think that anything could hurt you.  My mom always nagged me about “being aware of my surroundings” when I was growing up, and clearly I never listened…

My favorite way to start my day here at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Ca is to run through the valley trails like in the picture above.  One morning this week, on the trail about 50 feet in front of me, I saw an oversized gray cat trotting along.  I thought, “Oh, that must be a mountain lion cub or something! Neat!” and proceeded to run past the brush that it jumped into, wondering if its mama was in there.  It wasn’t until later that day, when I mentioned the baby mountain lion siting, that my roommates made me realize how dumb I had been.  They said, “Didn’t you read the warning sign at the trailhead!?” Obviously not, because the last thing you are supposed to do when you see a mountain lion is run, since it may mistake you as prey.  You’re supposed to a) turn around or b) make a lot of noise and seem threatening like a predator.  I’m pretty lucky that mama lion didn’t decide to chase me for running towards her cub.  In Delaware County Pennsylvania, when we hike in the woods, all we have to worry about are deer ticks! 

Moral of the story, always be aware of your surroundings and take the time to read signs, especially when you’re some place new.   

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About ludevon16

I am a Lehigh University IDEAS Environmental Engineering student focusing on a mix of biology, chemistry, environmental science, and sustainability. This summer I am participating in the Low-Energy Sustainable Farming Mountaintop Project at Lehigh, after coming back from a semester abroad in Freiburg, Germany. The previous summer I participated in an REU at Cal Poly researching phytoremediation. I am passionate about environmental remediation and want to pursue a career in the field after (fingers crossed) going to grad school. I am a flautist in the LU Philharmonic Orchestra, a student tutor for orgo, a member of LU's Finest step dancing team, and an inmate tutor for the Lehigh Prison Project. I like to rock climb, run, read, and play ukulele! View all posts by ludevon16

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