|Sent on:||Saturday, September 8, 2012 10:03 PM|
Since I lead many hikes in Griffith Park, I thought you should know about it. I've never seen it.
Since 1909, just 20 people have died as a result of puma attacks in North America, including Canada and Mexico. Five of those have been in California. That's an average of one person killed by a puma about every five years. For comparison's sake, about 62 people die each year from lightning strikes in the US: you're thus more than 300 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a puma.
This indicates that most people killed by pumas have acted in ways that make them attractive prey to big cats, whether by being small, noisy children moving in unpredictable ways, or by moving at a rapid clip. This is essentially the equivalent of dressing up as a bright red laser pointer dot, triggering reflexes in the lions with potentially unhappy results.
If you nonetheless do encounter a puma: