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Thread: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

  1. #1

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    Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    As if there isn't enough to worry about---
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...nimal-n1137731
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    One of the reasons I always have my Swiss Army knife. At night I carry a small .380 pistol when in mountain lion habitat.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    They're everywhere around here. It's a rare treat to see one, but wildlife night cameras routinely spot em. There have been 18 documented mtn lion attacks in Calif. in the last hundred years, with just a handful of fatalities. Yet in just a single year in this greater metropolitan area alone, five infants were killed by the Pekinese dog breed alone, and over 500 cases of dogbite in the city of SF alone required some kind of emergency treatment that same year. So put that in perspective​. For their size, speed, and power, cougars are one of the world's least dangerous predators. Mule deer might have a different opinion. However, I did get scratched and bit up a few days ago by a feral kitten that wasn't particularly amused by losing a few parts earlier that day at the Vet.

  4. #4
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    Most folks never hear a mountain lion attack them. They're super quiet, and you're in their playhouse. Personally, I wouldn't carry a .380, because it's doubtful that that caliber has enough stopping power, and the small bullet weight likely won't penetrate the hide. When I was in Arizona, I carried a hot-loaded Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. Rule is, never get out of sight of your group; and never travel alone.
    Best,
    Dennis

  5. #5

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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    Another article: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/...y-15061367.php

    This park is in Cupertino which is a bit away from Santa Cruz. There are plenty of mountain lions in those hills though. UCSC has a program to collar and track mountain lions in the Santa Cruz mountain range. http://www.santacruzpumas.org/puma-tracker. "Note that there are many more mountain lions without collars on them, than are those with collars."

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a page on mountain lions including things to do if you encounter one. https://wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Lion

    -Darren

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    It was on the news again just a few minutes ago. The little girl is OK. The lion hasn't been caught. If they do tree one with hounds, they'll use a DNA test to see if it's the culprit or not. All depends on how good a lawyer the cat can afford after that. But it might have left the area by now. Cougars are easy to stop with a lung shot. I've been snarled at, but have fortunately never had to pull the trigger. They're beautiful fascinating animals, and it would make me sick to have to kill one. When I was young we did have to shoot a desperate crippled cat that was taking livestock because it was incapable of taking normal game. Up the street from me they sometimes take wild turkeys. I should leave them some cranberry sauce. I never worry about cougars. Ticks are a greater threat.

  7. #7
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    One the news the park ranger said that there were only 3 mountain lions in that area. I find that a surprisingly low estimate considering the number of deer in the area. A few years back I was struggling up a hill west of Skyline off 84 on a bicycle when all of a sudden a deer leaped across the road from a ridgeline on my right with his hoofs just missing my head. A mountain lion, in hot pursuit, came to a screeching halt - apparently chickening out on leaping the road in the pursuit.

    Thomas

  8. #8

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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    We have them and bears as well. More problems with Moose than both put together. Some farmers don't go into corn fields on foot when they get tall as the moose often lay up in them. ATV or Tractor makes it easier to avoid a confrontation.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #9

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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    The park is in the Santa Cruz range, but not really that close to Santa Cruz city. Mountain lion kills (of deer, not photographers) are relatively common on the UC Santa Cruz campus, and there are signs about how to be aware in mountain lion country on the trails in upper campus. I was fortunate enough to see a mountain lion while mountain biking in Wilder state park across the road. It moved into the bushes to avoid me. Most people will never see one.

    Curiously, I have spent many more hours road biking, and never seen a road lion.

    Mountain lion attacks are very rare. I run in places where there are occasional lions, and don't worry about it. I'm more worried about spraining my ankle and being out overnight on a cold night. A few suggestions if one encounters a lion that doesn't immediately scram: look big, yell, and throw rocks. Don't run away, and if you are with little kids, I think the advice is to pick them up so they don't look like prey. (How does anyone test whether the picking-up-kids advice works?)

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mountain Lion near Santa Cruz

    When hiking on brushy trails in lion habitat it's a good idea to keep small children or conspicuously weak elderly people nearby; but getting paranoid about this topic is absurd. They were all around us when I grew up, and daily wandering around in the brush and rocks alone as a little kid was just routine play. Rattlesnakes were the bigger concern, or a pasture with an aggressive bull. But the screaming caterwauling of mating cougars at night is something you never forget. Those mountain cats were much larger than the ones here on the coast because mule deer are much larger prey than our coastal blacktail deer.

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