This is Science Today. Over the last several years, one of the major focuses of the University of California, Davis Wildlife Health Center has been to study what mountain lions are doing when people are in close proximity. Walter Boyce, director of the Wildlife Health Center, says they chose the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego, California as the place to conduct their long-term research project.
Cuyamaca was the location where a woman was killed in the mid-1990s by a mountain lion and there were several other public safety incidents. So we thought this is a good place to go in there and ask questions about what are lions doing when people are close by and what people are doing when they're nearby lions.
For a period of three years, radio collars were put on twenty lions in and around this park.
What we found was that the lions were doing a really good job of avoiding people. There were at least eight adult mountain lions in that park at any given time over that three-year period.
One reason for the avoidance? Mountain lions are active most at dawn, dusk and during the night. So in general, they were in day beds, or dense vegetation, when people were out and about. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.