Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We were thrilled to have a mountain lion wailing 20 yards from our house at app. 6:45 am this morning! Kathleen went outside to let the dog out, heard a heinous noise and called me to come outside quick. I have often hear mountain lion vocalizations referred to as sounding like "a woman being killed" and this could not have been more accurate (unless of course a woman was actually being killed, over and over again on the hillside below our house). We called both of the kids out to listen but they could only handle a few moments of it. As Kathleen and I stood there in the dark listening the lion walked right past us, just below the lip of the canyon - literally yards away. The cat continued up canyon but downhill and we last heard it 100 yards below us.

I plan on rising early tomorrow morning for a listen and perhaps even a look. Going out this afternoon to look for tracks. After a lifetime spent in the outdoors this is still a lifer mammal for me.

Hopefully I'll find a mountain lion and not a dead woman!!!


1 comment:

Carolyn Short said...

We've had mountain lion sightings out here near Butte College Wildlife Refuge - the most memorable about eight years ago. Listening to her from our house, about 700 yards away, I too described the sound as a woman being killed or giving a painful child birth - a shrilling scream. My mom saw her in our driveway in the dark, early morning while letting the dog out. Mom said it looked like an apparition as it floated effortlessly up our steep driveway, backlit by our outside floodlight - small head, long body, long tail.

A few weeks later, our neighbor discovered the lion had come again in the night, chosen her biggest, fattest sheep, killed it, and dragged it from her property through our fences and back to the wildlife refuge - smart animal!

I don't know the end of the story, but it's rumored that one of the neighbors shot and killed her shortly after that incident - even though shooting mountain lions is prohibited.

I can't recall time of year but I think it was late winter/early spring.