Wildlife Viewing, OK, but close meeting with mountain lion?
Reading books about nature, dogs and horses and living in the forest was a favorite activity. Once my grandmother gave me a emphatic lecture about reading a book, “Bears, Bears, Bears!!”
“You’ll never see a bear in your life!! She proclaimed
Well, much as I loved Lana Hudson, she was wrong! In fact, living in the midst of the Klamath National Forest along the Klamath River, I have seen bears, deer, elk, and even mountain lions!!
Erin Wilson, 24, stopped her pickup in a rest area by Big Bar on Hwy 299 in Trinity County. What expected t be a peaceful stroll along the Trinity River with her Belgian Melinois, Eva, CHANGED QUICKLY!
Without warning, while Eva was ahead, a full grown mountain lion took a swipe at her, scratching her shoulder through her jacket. Hearing Erin’s scream, Eva rushed back to the rescue!!
At only 55 lbs, Eva fought, but was no match for the mountain lion who had her skull in her jaws. Erin threw rocks, sticks and fists and tried to scratch it’s eyes. The lion held on to Eva and scratched at Erin with back paws.
She ran back to the pickup parked nearby for a weapon. Flagging down a passing motorist, Sharon Houston who grabbed a four-foot length of PVC pipe and some pepper spray.
When the cat finally let go and took off, Erin was relieved…Then realized Eva was bloody and injured. She got her in the pickup and rushed for emergency veterinarian care in Redding, an hour and a half away. The Veterinarian expected full recovery but kept under observation awhile.
Mountain Lion attacks are rare, the radio this morning said that you are a thousand ties more likely to be struck by lighting.
However, they recommend not hiking along, and being watchful. Hours of dusk or dawn or at night are more likely to see a Mountain lion and if you do, do not bend, or crouch, approach or run!
The Sacramento Bee reported an afternoon mountain-lion attack on a 3-year-old boy hiking with his family of six in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in 2020. The lion bit the child on the neck and began to drag him away until the father freed the toddler by throwing a backpack at the animal. Most attacks have been Orange County and that lion had previously killed a man and later mauled a woman.
A neighbor saw one in her backyard recently. When my husband was temporarily in a nursing home, December 2020, a mountain lion killed a big buck in our back yard one evening. The previous couple of nights, going out to the washing machine in a shed in the back yard, I had felt like I was being watched. It seemed strangely quiet.
Then the next day a neighbor called to warn me of the deer kill very close-by our back door!
A wise woodsman always keeps alert!