Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eye of the Lion

The day seemed ordinary enough. House work. Sick kids. Out of water. But I knew something was not right when my two female dogs, one black lab one bull mastiff, would not follow me up to the water pump. I started down the trail, getting maybe 100 feet, when I notice I'm alone. Both dogs are shaking and whineing at the edge of the yard. Very distressing. Then I hear it. A low, throaty growl. I look up the trunk of the tree I'm standing next to and about 25ft up I see it. Big eyes. Long twitchy tail. A very muscular mountain lion just hanging out next to my house in the middle of a windy fall afternoon. All I could think was " I cannot be eaten, Bug needs more Tylenol in an hour." So while maintaining eye contact I slowly backed all the way into my front door. An hour later it was gone. My dogs never made a peep. Its been over a week and I still don't let my kids outside alone. When I shared this story on Facebook a lot of people wanted me to shoot it. But I just couldn't. Partly because I didn't want to try while alone with my kids. But also they were here first. I chose to live in their territory. And just because you see them doesn't necessarily mean they want to eat you. And if you don't see them doesn't mean they don't see you. Here's some interesting facts I found on * there are approximately 10 mountain lions per 100 miles in California. That makes at least 4000 in this state Alone. * With the passage of prop 117 in 1990 mountain lions became a "specially protected species" making them illegal to hunt or harm in any way. * California Dept. Of Fish and Wildlife get 100's of sightings annually but only 3% turn out to be verifiable public safety threats. * Statistically a person is 1000 times more likely to get struck by lightening then attacked by a mountain lion. * Only 16 verified attacked on humans sincere 1890, six of them fatal. Although the last attack was in January 2007 right here in Humboldt County.