May 21, 2020

Do Your Duty as a Hominin!

Mountain lion — or cougar, if you prefer. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
I have had some mountain lion encounters, none of them this bad, so permit me some second-guessing. Everyone does it in regard to predator attacks.

Washington state mountain biker Isaac Sederbaum, the initial victim, having then seen his companion attacked by a lion, "later told the authorities that he had to travel about two miles before getting a cellphone signal and calling 911."

Isn't it your duty as a hominin to pick up a heavy stick and go full-on Angry Ape at the cat? They are ambush predators, so they avoid face-to-face showdowns. That might have worked.

But no. Got to make that 911 call. And eventually the lion is tracked with dogs and shot, as so often happens.

Ten thousand ancestors sadly shake their heads.

* * * 

True story: my friends the wildlife rehabilitators had a somewhat parallel experience. She was attacked by a lion inside an enclosure who grabbed her by the head. Her husband was not far away, and as he said, more or less, "I tried to kick a forty-yard field goal with that lion's head as the football."

Then he pulled her to safety, closed the gate, and got her some medical help. Apparently she was a celebrity at the hospital. They don't get to see big-predator injuries very often in Pueblo, Colorado, so all the docs were curious.


Rob Collins said...

I am not a cat person. I'd recall all that dislike immediately if I found myself within punting distance. I'm playing nice in describing, for all of the cat people....

Likely the first notice would be taken by my dog. She's currently a goofy, flopsy, muppet-looking Golden Doodle, who's been shaped since I picked her out of the litter, looking for a balance between loving and aloof, and entranced with the pheasant scent-laced wing I was showing all of the pups. She's since retrieved the "freezer dove" also doused in scent, and loves that game. She's graduated to anything that falls in front of her, and has "whoa'd" on command when teased by a 5' away broadside jackrabbit, because I said so. She had her first find and retrieval of a wounded live pheasant about 10 minutes later.

So, if she was the one to notice a sneaky cat, she'd hear "whoa", as would the cat. The cat, probably has better instincts than the jackrabbit, would notice both me AND the dog, and for its own best interests, realizes right then, that I don't need to call 911, and my "big stick" won't be a stick at all....

Thanks for sharing this Chas, I enjoy reading your blog!

Chas S. Clifton said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rob.

waepnedmann said...

Silly me.
I read that as making a 1911 call.
Yes, my mind is warped that way.

ScribblersDad said...

I would never need to travel 2 miles to make a call to 1911...😁

Sabre22 said...

This has been Recommended for years that when you confront a Mountain Lion You pick up a stick, throw rocks, yell, make yourself as big and threatening as possible. Because that Mountain lion is going to try to EAT YOU. For a while now you can carry a gun in most national parks and other recreation areas (if your state allows civilians to carry a gun that is). It is getting to be the time of year when juveniles are leaving their mothers look for more confrontations as they try to set up their own territories.