Posted: Oct 11, 2013 2:38 PM by Lindsey Gordon - Helena
HELENA - Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials were alerted on Monday that a woman jogging in the area of Gold Rush and Virginia Dale was reportedly being stalked by a mountain lion.
On Tuesday another report of a sighting came from the area of Beltview and California.
Anna Rolando, who lives on California Street, said, "I am aware of it and it is something that you need to be cautious of, but as far as today goes, I really hadn't given it any thought, but it is important to think about. Especially with kids."
Wildlife officials have advised people to take certain measures to protect themselves.
"We really recommend that people get practice and understand how to deploy bear spray. It's a great deterrent for the mountain lions as well as the bears," said Wayde Cooperider of FWP.
He continued, "Pay attention...especially when you're in an area that's inclined to have mountain lions in it."
Cooperider says most likely when there is a mountain lion sighted this time of year, it is a juvenile male that was just kicked out of the group.
There have only been three documented predatory attacks on humans in recent history in Montana and seeing one doesn't mean you were actually being stalked. "It might be the first time they've encountered a human or multiples, so they're just curious," he said.
For Anna, she doesn't mountain bike after dark, but a few sightings would keep her from enjoying her neighborhood: "In general I feel safe, but I guess anything could happen."
Wayde suggests that you stand your ground in a confrontation with a mountain lion, and that it's smart to walk, hike, or run in groups of two or more.