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California Trails

Mountain Lions as Afraid of Us as We are of Them, Study Finds

Researchers discovered the big cats almost always flee human voices, even when feeding.

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New research suggests that human voices terrify most mountain lions, a finding with implications for their hunting habits. When UC Santa Cruz scientists played recordings of people talking near mountain lion kill sites, the cats fled 83 percent of the time. The study also found that the frightened cougars took longer to return to their prey and fed for shorter periods, behavior changes that may affect how well they can sustain themselves in populated areas.

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