Saturday, September 22, 2007

More Fun With Bears

A met a neighbor on Lazy Z today and he told me the latest on the local black bear.

As there was some chatter on the local PUMA email list, I posted the following to it:

There is a bear here at the end of Lazy Z that has repeatedly tried to break into his cars. I myself saw the bent frame of a passenger door from a minivan. The bear had tried to peal away the door the top edge with its claws. Eventually the door glass shattered as the fame was bent outwards.

Now my neighbor keeps the doors unlocked and the windows down. This seems to keep the bear from trying to peal away doors, destroying them in the process.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Frost of the Fall

This morning there was a coat of white frost on the ground. Also, yesterday's rain had frozen on blades of grass.

However, the Goji Plants and house plants seem to have survived it, so it was not a hard frost. Does that make a soft frost?

I suspect this frost will the trigger for the turning of the Aspens.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Livestock Puma will not be trapped and killed

Thank you Sue (see below) for doing all this wonderful research and summarizing it in a email. I can picture the incident in great detail because I knew the horse and I've wandered through the pasture where it happened.


Hi Everyone,
An update about the lion situation: The trap has been pulled.

At this point they are not planning on taking any further action other than to keep a close eye on any further incidents that arise.

Here are the facts as shared by the DOW information officer, Jennifer Churchill who was very informative and nice. Most of you already know these but here it is for those who don't:
  • The pony was killed on Saturday night at the top of the lower meadow of the Kellogg's property. He was then dragged down near the corral which is near William Kellogg's house.
  • The lion did not kill the pony at Otsie's house, nor did it ever go to his house, it was seen only on the Kellogg's property.
  • The main concern was after Otsie had his farrier down to work with his remaining horses (I believe on Sunday or Monday). The lion stayed next to the pony's remains for the hour or so that Otsie and his farrier were working with the horses. Again-the lion was in the open meadow next to the pony's remains. The Camera reported that it was in an open meadow and neglected to mention that it was next to it's cache, very typical lion behavior.
  • We discussed lion behavior and she agreed that some lions do stick closer to their cache than others, but it always makes them more cautious when they see lions who stay near their prey in the presence of humans.
  • For what it's worth, I'd like to share my perspective on such behavior: I have done research on Open Space properties for the past decade and work in an area where road killed deer (and lion-killed deer who are taken too close to residential areas) are dropped off for lions to be able to eat in a safe location away from people. Many rangers have commented that they will often have to shoot lions with rubber bullets in order to get them away from their caches and I have pictures here, here, and here that show a lion in my study area in South Boulder doing just that, hunkering down on his cache, despite the rangers watching them and taking photographs from a truck.
  • The only other killings that she said concerned them were of a llama and a pony. One was on Flagstaff and she couldn't remember where the other one was (I believe the llama was Sugarloaf). She said there was no way to know if this was the same lion, but they were concerned that the lion had possibly shifted it's prey choice to livestock rather than deer/elk and they target lions who start focusing on livestock.
  • I asked if there was any regulation regarding responsible livestock or pet ownership and she said no. She agreed completely that the lion is the one who pays with his life when we choose to let our dogs run free or we don't keep our livestock in safe enclosures at night. Even if you don't report it to the DOW when your dog is killed, it's clear that word of mouth spreads the story and then, when an event happens as did with the pony, the stories fly such as "I know of 7 dogs in the Magnolia area that were killed by lions." Unverifiable information but quite powerful when rumors start to make it back to the DOW. When a decision about whether to kill a lion or not is unclear, those stories push the DOW into choosing a lethal option.
  • I asked if we could organize a neighborhood meeting with their district rangers and she said she would make some calls and see if they can pull that together. I offered to organize things from this end and will call her next week to see what kind of time constraints they have on their end.
  • If anyone has a venue that they know about or could volunteer to host such an event please let me know.
  • Please send me a private email stating if you would like to come to a meeting with Sinapu and the Division of Wildlife and I will start contacting everyone to see what dates are best.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I still would like to gather as many factual accounts of lion encounters so that we can have the right information available should there be any other lion predation event. I'd also like to hear from people who have had no encounters as those are valuable as well.

Thank you all for taking the time to read these updates,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mountain Lion Causing Quite a Local Buzz

We were repeatedly buzzed by two Helicopters this afternoon. The first was red, and the second was yellow with a blue tail.

I was not sure what it was about at first, but I'm guessing the following has something to do with it.

Mountain lion kills horse in Boulder County foothills

In case the Daily Camera link does not work, the articles says:
"Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are responding to property in the Boulder County foothills where a mountain lion attacked and killed a horse, sheriff's officials said this afternoon.

The property's owner reported that the cat was still in the area, located off Magnolia Road near Pineglade Road. "

Also See:


I've seen the pony that was eaten any number of times. I'm sorry to hear it's turned into cat food. I assume this is the same mountain lion that's been sighted on our land here. The pony lived about a mile from here, on the other side of Winiger Ridge.