How to Survive an Oklahoma Mountain Lion Encounter…

Outside of dramatic severe weather coverage, sensationalized crime reports and sappy, heartwarming human interest stories that pander to our primitive emotions, there’s nothing the Oklahoma media – us included – loves more than a good Oklahoma mountain lion sighting.

The most recent one occurred earlier this month at Lake Hudson in Green Country. Here’s a quick report via KOCO:

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation have confirmed a mountain lion sighting.

Officials shared photos of the mountain lion, which was spotted in the Lake Hudson area.

Wildlife officials said this was the 29th confirmed mountain lion sighting in Oklahoma since the department began keeping records on them in 2002.

I think this latest sighting of a wild animal just going about life was covered by every local newspaper, TV station and church newsletter in the state, and for good reason: Now that we officially average 1.7 mountain lion sightings in Oklahoma per year, the chance of stumbling across a deadly, blood-thirsty apex predator is better than ever! As a result, I thought I would share seven survival tips, in case you encounter one of these beasts in the wild.

1. Stay calm.

Mountain lions are apex predators, and any sudden movement will make them think you’re a wise choice for second breakfast. As a result, don’t dart in different directions like a squirrel about to get plowed over by a Honda. Stay calm, breathe, and close your eyes. It will all be over soon.

2. Slowly reach for your phone.

3. Tell yourself it’s probably just a bobcat.

It probably isn’t, but you’d be surprised of the power of mind over matter.

4. Take a photo of the mountain lion.

Although they can be shy, mountain lions always love posing for a photograph. If you have a ball of yarn, or even a small dog, toss it to the lion to give him or her something to play with, while you take a wide variety of photographs from different angles.

5. Share the photo on social media.

When you do, make sure to turn the privacy options to public. That way, your photograph will reach more people and can be shared with local TV news stations.

6. Say a prayer to Joe Exotic.

Sure, Joe Exotic may be in jail — and he may also have specialized in taming tigers, ligers, and liligers — but cats are loyal and protective of big cat lovers.

7. Run.

And good luck.