Psychology professor Richard Coss lead a team of Davis researchers who reviewed over a hundred years of mountain lion attacks.
He says they concluded that immobility may be interpreted by a lion as a sign of vulnerability…and running may be better.
“It worked best in terms of preventing injury and it did seem to be about the same in terms of death rate with those that stood still. But standing still could really make you look kind of inattentive or essentially not behaving normally like deer might when they spot a mountain lion approaching them.”
Most state and federal wildlife agencies advise against running. They say running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase.
Coss says ultimately, your best defense is to be in a group of people…and not stray from that group.