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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'

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Offline TexasGirl

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« on: December 14, 2006, 09:03:00 AM »
The trails at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in south Austin are closed today, because a visitor and a staff member each sighted a mountain lion.  TPWD is investigating, but said, 'Mountain lions are generally not a risk to humans.'  Oh, ok.
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Offline RichardM

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Re: 'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 09:28:47 AM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
The trails at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in south Austin are closed today, because a visitor and a staff member each sighted a mountain lion.  TPWD is investigating, but said, 'Mountain lions are generally not a risk to humans.'  Oh, ok.

My parents live just a mile or three from there in Shady Hollow.  I used to ride my brother's bike over to the veloway by there whenever I was in town.  Lots of woods still undeveloped out there.  I've seen lots of coyotes and deer, but never dreamed they'd have panthers out there.

Hey Vince, watch out!   :shock:

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 09:47:26 AM »
I suppose the key word in their statement is "generally."  Is TPWD providing any other advice to the public? How large in the Wildflower Center? What is the area like around the Wildflower Center?
"No, that did not happen to me.  You have me confused with someone else."

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Offline RichardM

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 10:12:07 AM »
Here's the article:
Quote from: "[url=http://www.kvue.com/news/mmcguire/stories/121306kvuenature-bkm.88d3ef4.html#
KVUE.com[/url]"]Mountain lion sighting closes trail

09:56 AM CST on Thursday, December 14, 2006

By MELISSA McGUIRE
KVUE NEWS

Nature trails at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in South Austin are closed after several people spotted a mountain lion.  The sighting has still not been confirmed by Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, but experts will look into the claims.  

Experts say the animals should not be considered dangerous.

"There have been only 15 fatalities in the last 100 years in North America," said Mark Simmons, Ecologist for the Center.  

Simmons says if a mountain lion does live there, it's actually a positive thing.  

'I would view this as a good sign. For somewhere like Austin, we're managing our water quality protection land properly. There are wildlife corridors. These are functioning ecosystems. We live in the midst of one,' said Simmons.  

The news still came as a shock to visitors at the Center.  

"You really don't want to think of seeing a mountain lion here!" said Cameron Duggins.  

Experts have estimated there are approximately 4,000 mountain lions in Texas, based on genetic diversity analysis.

If you see one, you should not run. If you feel threatened, make loud noises to scare it away.

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Offline RichardM

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 10:25:15 AM »
Here's a map of the area showing all of the woods.  My parents live at the bottom where the green arrow is.  Looks like that's about a mile away, as the crow flies.


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Offline Bobcat

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2006, 11:27:11 AM »
I think most of the mountain lions that are reported in MN are escaped pets. One came into MN recently from ND with a tracking collar.
  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snapshots/mammals/cougar.html
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Offline TexasGirl

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2006, 11:28:12 AM »
The Wildflower Center has 279 acres.  There are trails due north and south of the area Richard has outlined in red.  

I'm so glad to know that mountain lions should not be considered dangerous.  Now I won't have to have a heart attack when I see one at Big Bend.  It does make one wonder, though, why the LBJWC must be closed if the animal is NOT DANGEROUS.

On another note, last week's Fredericksburg _Standard-Radio Post_ showed several pics of deer hunters with their prizes, and one woman with her bobcat.  Since when are we hunting bobcats?
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Offline Bobcat

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 11:35:51 AM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
The Wildflower Center has 279 acres.  There are trails due north and south of the area Richard has outlined in red.  

I'm so glad to know that mountain lions should not be considered dangerous.  Now I won't have to have a heart attack when I see one at Big Bend.  It does make one wonder, though, why the LBJWC must be closed if the animal is NOT DANGEROUS.

On another note, last week's Fredericksburg _Standard-Radio Post_ showed several pics of deer hunters with their prizes, and one woman with her bobcat.  Since when are we hunting bobcats?


Nobody should shoot a cute Bobcat :shock:
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Offline RichardM

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2006, 12:01:25 PM »
My nephew has a picture of a turkey and a bobcat that he shot a few years back.  He was hunting the turkey and had just shot it.  When he came up to it, the bobcat had come out and was trying to drag it off.  He shot the bobcat as well.  :(

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Offline Casa Grande

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2006, 01:07:27 PM »
A couple of years ago in my neighborhood in Canyon Lake, a neighbor's dog was killed by a mountain lion.  Since I was a little kid, I have heard reports of Mountain Lions in the Hill Country.

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Offline Vince T

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2006, 01:16:53 PM »
Interesting...close to home.

I have seen tracks from a mountain lion just outside of SA, so no doubt they can survive in relatively close quarters to people and development here in Central Texas.

The interesting thing about this sighting is that it is SO CLOSE...homes are across the street from the center.

Good luck convincing the mothers groups in the neighborhood that there is nothing to fear.   :o

Vince

'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2006, 03:58:48 PM »
RichardM, thanks for the map, and TexasGirl, thanks for the response and the additional information.  That is amazingly close to residential areas, and major thoroughfares, and appears from the map to be fairly open country.  Hopefully, this cat was at the fringe of its range, and is now long gone. Nonetheless, if I lived in that area, I would not rely on TPWD's "general" assessment.
If this cat found food in this area, and did not feel threatened in this area, I will bet it returns. This reveals a risk in this area that I suspect was previously unrecognized.  
How many miles would you have to go in any direction from this this point to really be in the country where there are few homes, etc.?
"No, that did not happen to me.  You have me confused with someone else."

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Offline Don H

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2006, 04:10:43 PM »
"Since when are we hunting bobcats?"

Predator hunting is a 'sport' all over the country.  Bobcats are frequently shot and killed around here (Arkansas) in fact.
For the record, I'm not a hunter and definitely don't approve of killing bobcats :?
Most of the predator hunting I've heard about involves coyotes - Is that any better?
Some people just love to shoot and kill wild animals, like I said I don't hunt but if I did it would be solely for the meat - is bobcat and/or coyote meat the prize for shooting them, hell no - most times they're just left to rot where they're shot or hung up on a fence post  :x
Killing one in self defense is another matter altogether.
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline RichardM

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2006, 04:18:32 PM »
Quote from: "Don H"
is bobcat and/or coyote meat the prize for shooting them?

I believe my nephew sold the bobcat pelt.  He ate the turkey.  I'm no fan of "sport" hunting either, but that's just my personal opinion.

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Offline Bobcat

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'Mountain lions are not a risk to humans'
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2006, 06:00:54 PM »
I've put out 2 contracts(whack jobs) on MN deer in the recent past.  The first one I hit with my car and broke both its front legs. It still managed to get roughly 100 feet into a county park.  I had to find a resident in the area that was willing to shoot a deer out of season in a county park. I did. I was the guide. He managed to kill the poor thing with one shot to the head at 75 feet. He took that deer home. And the other contract was with the MN Highway Patrol. A buck with a very odd antler configuration was standing on a slope along I-94. I  started to photograph this deer thinking it was a mutant. Well it became apparent that it had been hit by a vehicle. I don't like to see animals suffer so I had the Highway Patrol come out and shoot this one. 3 shots to the head with a 45(I guess) took care of matters here. I took that buck after the hitman gave me a permit. Anyway, that's how I hunt these days. And deer hunting is necessary here because we don't have mountain lions to keep the deer populations down.
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