August 31, 2011

Mountain Lions Live Among Us . . .

'The Felidae Conservation Fund'

A few days ago I received the following anonymous alert from a reader of this blog:

"FYI, we stayed at Bodega Sand Dunes Campground Friday night and had a frightening close call with a mountain lion at 3:15 AM. After feeding the baby my wife left to visit the restroom without a flashlight. She had onlt taken a couple of steps when a cougar "screamed" at her no more than 25 feet away (sounded like less than 10). She froze and it screamed at her again. To me it sounded like a warning to stay away - a very scary warning that sends shivers down your spine. I called out to my wife who unfroze and dashed back into the tent. We were escorted out of the site as we were quite shaken. I wasn't overly concerned for the safety of my wife and I, but know that small children may be in danger so we left. I am an avid outdoorsman and have been my entire life (first backpacking trip at 6 months old), but those screams at my wife are still haunting. Best I can tell is the cougar was stalking a deer that was walking through our campsite. The cougar was down wind of us and deer footprints went right by our tent the opposite direction. My wife unwittingly opened the tent door and started walking towards its hiding place that wasn't far away and sent the warning screams at my wife. I have always wanted to see a cougar, but hope the next one we see uses better manners and says "please" and "thank you." :) We love the area and will be back again (just at a less remote camp site). Nice to know it is even more natural than I anticipated with even Mt. Lions." 

After reading this I immediately contacted two people whose knowledge and professionalism I greatly respect. They are professional tracker, Jim Sullivan, and 'The Felidae Conservation Fund' Founder, Zara McDonald. I will write a follow up post featuring comments and tracking information from Jim Sullivan. Zara McDonald is the author of today's guest post. 

Photo credit ~ 'The Felidae Conservation Fund'

The following is a Guest post by Zara McDonald, Founder of 'The Felidae Conservation Fund'   

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