Mountain Lion Safety

A group of 10 children and adults hiking on a dirt path.
Ventura's hills are a natural mountain lion habitat. Their primary prey is deer, but they have also been known to attack livestock and pets, and on very rare occasions, humans. Mountain lions are generally solitary, elusive and avoid human contact.

Safety Tips


  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active - dawn, dusk, and at night.
  • Keep a close watch on small children.
  • Do not approach a mountain lion.
  • If you encounter a mountain lion, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to look bigger by waving your arms; throw rocks or other objects. Pick up small children.
  • If attacked, fight back.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911.
A mountain lion walking around a thin tree.
A photo comparing dog tracks and mountain lion tracks side by side.

Mountain Lion or Bobcat?


Bobcats, which are also active in Ventura's hills, are often mistaken for mountain lions. Mountain lions are generally much bigger, 75 - 100 pounds, while Bobcats average 15 - 30 pounds. Bobcats get their name for their short, bobbed tails, while mountain lions have long tails, at least half their body length.