Glacier National Park officials warned visitors Wednesday of aggressive behavior by a mountain lion recently along popular hiking trails in the Upper McDonald Creek Valley.
Rangers received two reports in the past week about confrontations between visitors and a mountain lion, both occurring near areas heavily used by visitors. Park officials are asking recreationists to be on alert for mountain lion activity and report all sightings to the closest National Park Service facility.
On Tuesday, June 23, a woman and her niece were confronted by a dark-colored adult mountain lion on the Sperry Trail near Lake McDonald Lodge. When the visitors spotted the lion, it was crouched down adjacent to the trail with its ears back. The visitors spoke firmly to the lion and eventually the animal left the area.
The following Sunday, June 26, rangers received another report from a large hiking group that encountered a mountain lion with a similar description on the Upper McDonald Creek Trail, between the North McDonald Road and the horse bridge across Upper McDonald Creek.
The lion was spotted less than five feet off the trail and did not show any signs of being frightened by people.
Rangers are actively patrolling these trails and are requesting visitors to report all sightings immediately.
Visitors are also reminded that unlike a bear attack, if a mountain lion attack seems imminent, act aggressively. Do not crouch or run away.
Park officials advise hiking in groups and do not recommend solo travel on trails. Make noise to avoid surprising a lion and keep children close by. In the event of an encounter, talk calmly, avert your gaze, stand tall and back away.
More in-depth information about mountain lion sightings in Glacier National Park is available online at www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/mtnlionsafety.htm.