Earlier this month a Mountain Lion was spotted near the trail to Chilnualna Falls. Local rangers ask that visitors be cautious when traversing trails and paths within the park.
According to the National park Service website:
Scientists, in 2003, validated the increase of mountain lion sightings in Yosemite National Park through a park-affiliated study that detailed no aggressive behavior by these animals toward visitors. To gather data, the researchers attached radio-collared transmitters to some of the animals on park land. The 18 known individuals in the study area, which went beyond the park’s boundaries, yielded an estimate of one mountain lion per 25 square miles. (Yosemite covers approximately 1,169 square miles.) Suspicions existed then and now that density is likely to be higher. Mountain lions, according to the study, occasionally pass through developed areas but seldom linger. Some animals migrate in vast ranges seasonally between higher and lower elevations.
Often, attacks by mountain lions are attributed to human infringement through development on the animals’ territory, but, in Yosemite, this is not a factor. Findings of the 2003 Yosemite study offered an unexplained periodic use, sometimes more intense than others, of Yosemite Valley by the animals. The park prohibits feeding of all animals, including raccoons, coyotes and mule deer, in part because doing so attracts their predators to developed areas.
If you see a mountain lion, take these additional precautions:
- Do not run.
- Shout in a low voice and wave your arms or hold open your coat to look large and threatening.
- Maintain eye contact and do not crouch down.
- Throw sticks or rocks.
- If an attack occurs, fight back.
Contact the rangers office with any sighting information at (209) 375-9521. A member of our Front Desk Team will be happy to put in the call for you.