Narrator: This is Science Today. Reports of fatal mountain lion attacks in recent years have put people living near mountain lion territory on edge. But wildlife expert Walter Boyce of the University of California , Davis says worry and anxiety caused by mountain lions are really out of proportion to the risk.
Boyce: Mountain lion attacks are very rare. Those of us that spend a lot of time out in the environment looking for lions still have a hard time finding them and we don't see them very often. In the vast majority of the time, lions are doing everything they can to avoid us.
Narrator: Boyce explains that most human-lion encounters are what are called simple sightings people are hiking or out in the woods and all of a sudden, a lion appears. Usually, the lion goes one way and the person goes another with no threat. But on occasion, a lion may act in a threatening way.
Boyce: If a lion does appear threatening to you, what you want to do is act big and yell at it. You want to be the aggressive, dominant animal in this case and again, in the vast majority of the time, the lion will turn and run away.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.