Prescott residents warned of mountain lion activity after string of attacks

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is warning Prescott residents about an increase in mountain lion activity after a number of attacks in the past month. 

Wildlife officers fatally shot a mountain lion in a northwest Prescott neighborhood last weekend after it attacked a homeowner's dog.

"The reporting party also said that an accompanying mountain lion acted aggressively toward him," read a statement from AZGFD.

On Thursday, authorities said they have killed a total of three of the aggressive animals. They were part of a group of four mountain lions that have attacked several dogs in the last four weeks. 

Three dogs were killed, and another three were injured during this string of attacks.

"A mountain lion also appeared within 10 feet of a mother and child two weeks ago in their backyard," officials said.

Officials are still looking for the fourth mountain lion.

Residents are urged to call Game and Fish immediately if they see one with aggressive behavior or in areas near homes. Authorities can be reached at 623-236-7201.

More info:

What attracts mountain lions:

  • Food sources found near people’s homes include deer, javelina, rabbits, unsecured domestic animals, or livestock.
  • Water for drinking can include a swimming pool, fountain, pond, or pet’s water bowl.
  • Mountain lions might use "cave-like" areas beneath sheds or elevated wooden patios, unused buildings, or storm drains for shelter.

Tips if you encounter a mountain lion, from AZGFD:

  • Do not approach the animal. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Stay calm and speak loudly and firmly.
  • Do not run from a mountain lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase.
  • Stand and face the mountain lion. Make eye contact.
  • Appear larger by raising your arms or opening your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not easy prey and that you may be a danger to it.
  • Maintain eye contact and slowly back away toward a building, vehicle, or busy area.
  • Protect small children so they won’t panic and run.
  • Fight back if attacked. Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, their bare hands, and even mountain bikes. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the animal.