Pat Adams: Mountain lion sightings

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I hope Jim Haskins, of the Division of Wildlife, will read “Beast in the Garden.” The book is about the mountain lion attacks in Boulder some years back. It is fine that the mountain is the lions’ habitat. It is typical that the cats go unnoticed. However, it is not a good thing when they no longer run away immediately and merely sit and look at humans; this is the seed of aggression. There was an article a few weeks ago about a cyclist who was unable to frighten a cat away even though he waved his bike threateningly. I hope the DOW is thinking about relocating this cat if it keeps appearing.

Comments

1999 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree...the scary part is that so many people have seen it.

That is not a natural way for a lion to act.

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mmjPatient22 5 years, 1 month ago

DOW better relocate it before it finds it's way over to Mr. Nightwalker's neighborhood. Ok, that might have been a little mean. But in all seriousness, and as far as natural foes go, there is a bit more concern warranted by a mountain lion than a black bear. Mountain lions are much quicker and much more predatory. This is one of those beautiful things in nature that is best observed at a distance or in picture. It would be highly unfortunate if someone felt they were put in the position to kill this animal in self-defense.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Good luck with relocating the cat. Unlike bears, cats have their own territory and will come back. I can't imagine other cats would be too keen on allowing another one into their territory. Unless the cat is dead, it will come back. I brought this up last time, but I want to know why the cat is showing up now? I feel it's habitat must have been disrupted by the new trail up around the quarry area. I've trained with/trained for the WSC for almost 15 years now, and we never had cat problems up there. Now this new trail is opened up, and there have been more and more mountain lion sightings. It can't be just a coincidence.

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mtroach 5 years, 1 month ago

rbd44; Do you think the trail's impact on the wildlife was not taken into account when the RCRiders built the new trail? Should something be done about this? I like the new trail but don't think we should kill or have to displace wildlife for our recreation.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

I have no idea the trail being built has anything to do with the mountain lion; I was just curious about the fact that the two seem to coincide with one another. I would be curious to see the environmental impact study that was done when the trail was in the approval process, and what sort of wildlife disruption was taken into consideration.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Mountain lions are very, very serious predators and this situation has got to be dealt with quickly or there is definetely going to be blood shed.

Mountain lions are what are called "stalk and ambush" predators meaning they will follow potential prey until they decide they can attack the prey and overcome it. They launch their attack from hiding (they have up to a 15' vertical leap, a lot more than even Michael Jordan at his prime) and kill by biting the neck of their prey until suffocation. They do not fight with their prey, they immediately try to kill it. Mountain lions have the most powerful hind quarters of any N American cats.

Their recognition of prey is a learned response and they will eat anything from insects to mule deer. Their thought process drives them to experiment to see if they can kill prospective prey --- if they can, they will come back for more. That is why a predatory mountain lion can become such a pain in the butt for a cattle or sheep herd. They keep coming back for more.

While they are very territorial, they have a huge range and will hunt over a great area. But they are not likely to be scared away by scraping a trail into their hunting ground. They are likely to just see this an effort to diversify their sources of prey. A cat that doesn't run away is sizing you up as an entree or an appetizer. Remember, he is not on a nature hike. LOL

BTW, conservation efforts in Wyoming have been particularly successful and Wyoming is believed to have the greatest concentration of mountain lions in the US, so it is no surprise more are showing up in northern Colorado. They are ranging looking for more individual habitat and less heavily hunted habitat. They are coming here to dine out.

While mountain lions are thought to be very timid, that is consistent with their "stalk and ambush" leap from hiding surprise attack hunting methodology. If a mountain lion runs away, it is likely because you disturbed his hunting methodology rather than you have actually scared him away. If a mountain lion thinks he can kill you, he will experiment with the idea and you will likely not know he is attacking until he launches himself from hiding. This is the typical MO of mountain lion attacks from witnesses or victims who managed to survive.

Mountain lions have attacked individuals while mountian biking. Remember, they are great leapers.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

The common defensive wisdom of making yourself big, appearing aggressive and shouting --- the same methodology suggested for black bears --- is in my view quite suspect. I have been face to face with big black bears and seen it work --- within the last 30 days BTW.

The mountain lion who kills you is not likely to be one you actually see while a black bear is quite likely to be seen going about his business grubbing for food. Bears are not typically "stalk and ambush" predators and will eat grubs and berries. Mountain lions are killers and will attack large animals.

If humans are in the mountain lion's hunting grounds, it is only a matter of time before a mountian lion sizes up an isolated human and launches an experimental attack.

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mtroach 5 years ago

HA HA I joke, the RCRiders don't do impact studies, they just build. The new trail is on Orton's land and nothing is required in the way of impact studies or aproval process besides the nod from the landowner. I do think there is a conection to this new trail and the sightings of the Quarry cat, and i hope that the cat dosn't get more agressive, or conditions will not be favorable for it's continued existance.

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justice4all 5 years ago

Mountain Lions were here long before we were, and they will be here long after we are gone. We moved into their territory. They did not tresspass upon ours. If you do not like wildlife, move into the city and see where you are more safe. Get a concealed carry permit and protect yourself. If we move one cat, another will fill the vacancy. Accept it as is or leave. Your choice.

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mmjPatient22 5 years ago

It's not like anyone here is saying we need to go and poach all the potentially vicious animals out of the areas that we claim for ourselves. We're all well aware of the value of wildlife and most all of us are of the belief that any waste of wildlife should be punished severely. On the other side of the same coin, no one wants to see a news headline that reads anything like, "Local children disappearing by the paw-full!!" or, "All non-vehicular traffic banned from River Rd." It's a stretch to say that either of those headlines are close to what could happen in reality but you get the drift. We all see the issues that are presented by sharing a domain with wildlife. That's why the article was written in the first place. People that live in areas, like our beautiful Yampa Valley, that are rich with a wonderful diversity of wildlife should be prepared to face the tangible reality that sometimes those wild animals can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. The discussion is aimed at figuring out what can be done for the people that are ignorant to the finer points of living side-by-side with wildlife. Before the bears went into their most recent hibernation, my girlfriend was given the pleasure of having her first surprise encounter with one of the black bears that roam around our neck of the woods. Fortunately or unfortunately for her, she was unwittingly enjoying a book on our back deck when it happened. Having never been in that particular situation before, she proceeded to do the only thing that most young women know to do when faced with a new and frightening set of circumstances....she erupted in a fit of fearful screams while jumping up and down repeatedly. Luckily for her, I was just inside making some food in the kitchen. The bear had completely cut-off any access that she had to the sliding door, making her best egress route a 75'-100' sprint to the front door. Upon hearing her screams, I grabbed the metal bar we use to prop in the sliding door and I headed towards the bear sitting no more than a foot away from the other side of the glass. Discerning that I was a threat, the bear cocked its head at me, spun around on a dime and almost tore up the deck boards as it peeled off back into the woods. I've thought many times about how lucky we both were that the bear was a black bear and not something like a grizzly, a kodiak or even a mountain lion. Needless to say, things could have been unimaginably worse, for us and the animal. The bottom line is that people who chose to live in these areas need to be aware of the dangers around them and be prepared to face them. If this means that I need to end the life of an animal, in order to protect my life or the life of someone else, don't think for a second that I'm going to blink twice before making that decision. The value of a human life trumps any animal's desire to eat one of us. It's just that simple and it's been that way since before our ancestors began painting these animals in caves.

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