The cougar, commonly known as mountain lion, puma, mountain cat, catamount, or panther, has been seen the last few days in SaddleBrooke. Over the twenty years that I have been here I have seen them several times. Usually at night when I am cruising the roads looking for interesting specimens. I first became aware of this mother and I assume youngster when they were spotted by residents drinking from a pond in their backyard. They took a picture and sent it to me and I was able to distinguish that they were indeed cougars.
On December 10th at 7pm, I was called by Patrol to put down a deer that was mortally wounded when hit by a car on SaddleBrooke Blvd. We dragged the carcass off to the side of the road until we could get a crew to pick it up in the morning. I came with a crew around 6:30 in the morning only to find that the carcass had been dragged into a ravine and was being attended to by a cougar. Since the carcass was half eaten, we set up a trail camera. The next morning the carcass was completely devoured and we had over 150 pictures of the two cougars and four coyotes that had feasted off and on during the night.
Why are they here?
I believe that one attraction is the number of animals killed and injured on our roads. I personally removed three deer and two coyotes killed on SaddleBrooke Blvd in the last month. The fact that they are here and being seen in a yard during daylight is of some concern since they are usually wary of people and their surroundings.
Cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare and occur much less frequently than fatal snake bites, fatal lightning strikes or fatal bee stings. Children are particularly vulnerable. The majority of the child victims were not accompanied by adults.
As with many predators, a cougar may attack if cornered, if a fleeing human stimulates their instinct to chase, or if a person "plays dead." Standing still however may cause the cougar to consider a person easy prey. Exaggerating the threat to the animal through intense eye contact, loud shouting, and any other action to appear larger and more menacing is effective in persuading a cougar to disengage.
If you feel concerned I would recommend purchasing a “Pet Corrector” available at Rawhide Feed store in Catalina or other feed or pet supply. If approached by any animal, domestic or wild, a shot from this will send them away in a hurry!
SaddleBrooke One Communications
Mountain Lions in SaddleBrooke
Mountain Lion Safety Tips
Encounters with cougars are rare. But if you live, work or recreate in cougar habitat, there are things you can do to enhance your safety and that of friends and family.
1. When it comes to personal safety, always be aware of your surroundings, wherever you are; conduct yourself and attend to children and dependents accordingly.
2. If you encounter a cougar, make yourself appear larger, more aggressive. Open your jacket, raise your arms, and throw stones, branches, etc., without turning away. Wave raised arms slowly, and speak slowly, firmly, loudly to disrupt and discourage predatory behavior.
3. Never run past or from a cougar. This may trigger their instinct to chase. Make eye contact. Stand your ground. Pick up small children without, if possible, turning away or bending over.
4. Never bend over or crouch down. Doing so causes humans to resemble four-legged prey animals. Crouching down or bending over also makes the neck and back of the head vulnerable.
5. Try to remain standing to protect head and neck and, if attacked, fight back with whatever is at hand (without turning your back)—people have utilized rocks, jackets, garden tools, tree branches, and even bare hands to turn away cougars.
6. Don’t approach a cougar. Most cougars want to avoid humans. Give a cougar the time and space to steer clear of you.
7. Supervise children, especially outdoors between dusk and dawn. Educate them about cougars and other wildlife they might encounter.
8. Always hike, backpack, and camp in wild areas with a companion.
9. Don’t feed wildlife. Don’t leave food outside. Both may attract cougars by attracting their natural prey.
10. Keep pets secure. Roaming pets are easy prey for cougars.
SaddleBrooke One Communications
Readers Choice Awards:
SaddleBrooke One wins high praise at 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards
The Arizona Daily Star Readers' Choice Awards Ceremony was held at the Starr Pass JW Marriott on Wednesday, August 29. SaddleBrooke One was the winner of two categories: Best Master-Planned Community and Best Benefits Program. SaddleBrooke One took second place in five categories, and general manager Vivian Timian was third place in the category of best boss.
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