In an earlier blog we told you about how Swedish researchers were shocked that human activity has an effect on wildlife behavior. For their next research project, maybe they should go to California and apply those keen observational skills to how the Golden State’s mountain lion population is responding to a distinct lack of human (hunting) activity.

From this story in the San Francisco Chronicle:
A mountain lion attacked and mauled a Marin County man as he slept along a tributary of the Yuba River, near Nevada City, the California Department of Fish and Game confirmed Monday. The 63-year-old man, whose name was not released, was in a sleeping bag at about 1 a.m. Sunday at a makeshift camp site during a hiking trip through Nevada County when he suddenly felt a paw on his head and woke up, said Mike Taugher, a fish and game spokesman. The cougar then pounced, biting through the victim’s cap and clawing him through his sleeping bag.

According to the story, the attack lasted for several minutes before the cat ran off. The hiker managed to drive himself to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released. Mountain lion hunting, it should be noted, has been illegal in California since 1990. Think that’s altered their behavior any?