Mountain Lions
at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Wildlife and Habitat   <--- Click here to return to the Wildlife and Habitat page

Mountain lions are residents along the Sacramento River, and there are occasionally sightings on Sacramento River NWR, and rarely on the other refuges of Sacramento NWR Complex.  Mountain lions tend to be elusive and typically avoid people. .


When visiting the Complex, it is highly recommended that you: 

  • Do not hike, bike, or jog alone. Go in groups.
  • Avoid hiking or jogging when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
  • Keep children close to you. Animals seem especially drawn to children; keep children within sight at all times.
  • Do not approach a mountain lion. Most mountain lions will try to avoid confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase.
  • Do not crouch down or bend over. A human standing does not resemble a mountain lion's natural prey.
  • Fight back if attacked. Mountain lions usually try to bite the head or neck; try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.
  • Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms. If wearing a jacket, take it off and wave it around. Pick up small children. Wave arms slowly, speak firmly in a loud voice, throw rocks or other objects.
  • If a mountain lion attacks a person, immediately call 911. 

More information about mountain lions from CDFW