Friday, August 12, 2016

Mountain lion kills pony in El Dorado County, California

Not only did the lion kill a 400 pound pony, but when the game wardens decided to leave the carcass overnight to see if the lion would come back, a bear came instead and pulled it off into the brush to eat at leisure. That tidbit of info was in the paper article this morning.

The state game warden said this:

"As for concern that the mountain lion could be a threat to people, Orr said that attacking livestock is within normal behavior for the predator. However, he said, attacking a human is abnormal behavior – and extremely rare."
"He recommended that residents in Cool, which is 35 miles northeast of Sacramento, redouble efforts to make sure livestock is penned and secure. In general, he said, the primary prey of mountain lions are deer."
Of course, after making that statement, it was then pointed out that Barbara Schoener, 40, was attacked and killed by a mountain lion as she ran alone north along a path at Auburn Lake Trails on April 23, 1994, ironically the same area where the pony was just killed.  I was peripherally acquainted with Schoener through my work, so to me it's a bit personal.  We here in California don't live on the African plains, but that doesn't mean you needn't be aware of your surroundings when playing out in the weeds.
As much as I've been out in the woods in my life, I've never seen a lion, but I have on occasion experienced that odd disquiet that manifests itself as a feeling of being watched.  I wonder if my sixth sense didn't detect something like a big cat deciding whether I was a candidate for a lunch date.

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  1. I did a study with a Lion expert (he hauled me along) about 15 years ago - in Orange County. He was paid to count the lions that frequented Coal Canyon, which runs off State Route 91 (urban areas surround it). With cameras (baited to bring in lions), scat analysis, etc. he counted NINE.

  2. If jogging in CA, and a lion decides to make you his dinner, what exactly can you do about it? Oh, I know! Call 9-1-1. That's a relief, isn't it?

    1. I hear tell they are intimidated by height. You are supposed to yell and raise your hands in the air. Never bend over to pick something up, they will go for you. Might be a good idea to bring a dog.