Monday, May 12, 2008

Albert was Right

A couple of months ago, I wrote about something outside frightening my cat, Albert, so badly that he wouldn't leave the house for weeks. Then, about a month ago, a mile across the valley from us, a rancher started finding his sheep dead with small holes in the neck. They looked like small-caliber bullet wounds perhaps, so he installed a video camera to find out who might be shooting his sheep. A couple of nights ago, with another dead ewe, he reviewed the tapes to see if he could catch the vandal in action. The story and video are here, from our local newspaper's website. At 2:16 on the first video, the powerful body and long tail of the culprit is instantly recognizable - a mountain lion! In the second video, it jumps over a fence, snatches a lamb, jumps back out with it and carries it away. With it now preying regularly on livestock, so close to town and not afraid of humans, the cougar was considered threat enough to be trapped and killed. It turned out to be a 130-pound male. Albert was smart to be scared.

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