Mountain Lion Warning

New Mexico – New Mexico officials want hikers, bikers and others to be aware of mountain lions.

Gov. Bill Richardson has signed a proclamation declaring Saturday as "Cougar Smart New Mexico Day."

He says people need to remember cougars and bears share the outdoors.

Game and Fish Department Director Tod Stevenson says mountain lion attacks are extremely rare.

And game officials say people can cut the risk by taking a few steps.

People who spot a cougar nearby should stand their ground and not run, and keep children close to them and calm.

Officials also recommend hiking in groups and making noise to avoid surprising a cougar, and carrying a walking stick to fight back if there is an attack.

Trailhead posters have been prepared telling people about the presence of cougars.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.