Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Proof That California is a Reality-Optional Zone

This flyer shows a photo of the warning sign from the Sierra Azul nature preserve, next to Los Gatos (which means "the cats" in Spanish, if I recall correctly).  The sign warns you that mountain lions are a problem, and if threatened, you are supposed to not run, do not panic, try to appear larger than you are (which only works for me when I am dieting), and attempt to pick up small children who are with you without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

And best of all: firearms are strictly prohibited in the nature preserve.  So, remember, if all else fails, fight the mountain lion in hand-to-hand combat.  Look, I have had house cats that made me regret trying to pick them up, and I'm supposed to fight a 150 pound mountain lion unarmed?

Dear California: please join the same universe as the rest of us.

UPDATE: One comment suggested beating the mountain lion with a stick.  HEre's one result:
Beating a mountain lion with a stick is a really good idea.  See what happened when someone took that advice:
"Nell Hamm did all the right things. She approached and screamed at the lion. Then she grabbed a 4-inch-wide log and began beating it on its back. "It wouldn't let go, no matter how hard I hit it," she said.

While Jim was trying to tear at the face of the cat, Nell says, "Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, 'I've got a pen in my pocket. Get the pen and jab him in the eye.'" "So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't want to go in as easy as I thought it would." When the pen bent and became useless, Nell Hamm went back to using the log. "That lion never flinched," she said. "I just knew it was going to kill him."

Finally, Nell slammed the log butt-end into the cat's snout. The lion had ignored her until then. At last, she had its attention. With blood on it's snout from her blow, the lion let go, stepped back, an stood glaring at her with its ears pinned back. "I thought he was going to attack me," she said. She continued to scream, waving the log, and then, thankfully, the cat slipped into the ferns and disappeared.

16 comments:

David said...

The predators are not in nature preserves, but in Sacramento.

Mike said...

Every open space preserve in the area has the same signs. In spite of the hype, there is almost zero risk of a mountain lion attack. Attacks are extremely rare. I've hiked these preserves for over twenty years and I've never even seen a mountain lion.

John said...

I suspect that if you did manage to successfully defend yourself, the assault charges would be forth coming.

glenn said...

This is chump change. Try running a manufacturing company.

Ron Coleman said...

Glenn wins.

Ken Green said...

As problems go, this one is relatively easy: carry a good, stout, walking stick. Even a mountain lion isn't going to shrug off being cracked upside the head with the equivalent of a baseball bat. Let's not forget, humans are top-level predators: with a decent stick and some self-control, a human is a match for all but the most deadly animals.

DogLogic said...

As a Los Gatos resident and occasional user of Sierra Azul, I have to endorse Mike's comment. That said, and notwithstanding my support for statewide legalization of both open and concealed carry, I have trouble imagining anyone getting in trouble for carrying concealed in an open space preserve around here.

And yes, it's "the cats," but mostly it refers to bobcats (which I have encountered in the area while driving, but not on foot).

K said...

I made some complaints about coyotes (who have been known to attack small children) around the UCIrvine campus - the animal control lady told me "After all - they were here first!"

Ken Mitchell said...

I live in Citrus Heights, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. There have been mountain lion sightings within the city limits of Citrus Heights, and we are NOT a foothills community; we're close to town, nowhere near the mountains.

California is not a "reality-optional" area; it is a "reality-FREE" zone.

Marc said...

A tedious bit of nanny-state signage. Plus, as Glenn points out in a line out of a perfect black and white movie, there are tougher obstacles to conquer in real life than in fearful imaginings.

Sam said...

I'm shooting the thing. Might not skin and mount it, but its rotting carcass will be found by a later passerby. I'm moving to CA in a couple of weeks and taking my LC9 with me--mountain lions beware.

ErikZ said...

Never seen a mountain lion? Yeah, that's kind of the point:

http://www.bearotic.com/2009/03/04/mountain-lion-hidden-by-natures-camouflage/

Shawn L. said...

"I'm supposed to fight a 150 pound mountain lion unarmed?"

To paraphrase Auric Goldfinger, no, they expect you to die.

DirtCrashr said...

If attacked by a mountain lion call for help and one of the drug growers up in the hills there may come to the rescue with an AK!
Meanwhile Los Gatos residents will continue to put-out food for the mountain lion population in the form of fluffy bunnies and puppies and kitty-cats. It aint called "Los Gatos" - The CATS for no reason...

m said...

Governments like criminals prefer unarmed victims.

PD Quig said...

Lived in LG for years and mountain biked solo on the Sierra Azul trail dozens of times. There were several places where my skin inevitably crawled because I would be thinking about how easily a big cat could conceal itself and attack from behind--another reason why so few mountain lions are ever seen...they're not much into frontal attacks). One year, a 250-lb. cat was killed crossing Hwy 17. It had 4" long fangs. Not many unarmed people are going to survive an attack by an animal like that.