Wildlife at Tara Mandala
Small animals and insects
Love them–they are sentient beings. If by chance a bird, mouse, or squirrel does get in, just open the doors and windows. By dusk it is sure to find its way out; animals move towards light and fresh air in the evening. Insects (flies in particular) do this as well. Insects like wasps that you’d rather get rid of immediately can be caught in a drinking glass against a window. Slide a piece of paper under the glass and carry it out.
Larger animals: snakes, bear, mountain lions and coyotes
Remember, they will only engage with you if they feel threatened. Wear boots if you walk off the trail. If you’re lucky enough to see one, don’t go near a snake or bear, etc. Stand still, back off slowly and send it away with blessings.
If a bear comes looking for food near your cabin, you can encourage it to leave by creating a loud noise such as an air horn or whistle, both of which are in the cabins. Never leave your cabin doors or windows open while away. If you are hiking, it is a good idea to make noise while you are hiking by clapping or hollering along the way. If you do see a bear, back away slowly. Do not turn and run, as it can be perceived as threatening.
Although rarely seen, mountain lions are native to the land. If you encounter one, stay calm and maintain visual contact with the lion. Talk calmly yet firmly to it and make enough eye contact so that it knows you have seen it. Slowly back away, but stay upright and facing the lion. Running may stimulate a lion’s instinct to chase and attack. Raise your arms and position yourself to appear bigger by getting up on a stump or a rock and opening your jacket if you’re wearing one. Similar to when you see a bear, a loud, sustained noise will often drive the animal away. It is a good idea to bring an air horn and a walking stick with you while hiking.
Coyotes are common, and hearing packs hoot and howl around dusk is a regular occurrence. Coyotes have a natural fear of humans, and generally do not pose a threat to us.