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Old 02-12-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Boston MA
10 posts, read 23,836 times
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Default Mountain lions in Georgetown?

We were out looking at property in Georgetown (Escalera Ranch) on Tuesday, and we saw something slinking through a yard toward the brush. Thought it was a large dog initially, but it had a sort of hump to its back and moved more like a cat. It was a very light color. Are there mountain lions around there? It's a pretty isolated setting.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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They used to be in the area. It's very rare to see one nowadays really. They've even been spotted in the very rural areas around Hutto too. I think Bobcats are actually more common to see. I thought the mountain lions had actually migrated somewhere else, but Hutto animal control said that it's certainly possible there could be a very few still around.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Boston MA
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It wasn't a bobcat, it was big and all one tawny color. My wife got a good look at it, and described a long thick tail. It came out of a gully, crossed the road, went down someone's yard (not far from the house) and back into the brush.

We are potentially relocating from the northeast, it's like wild kingdom out there, we saw a coyote in Cimarron Hills, numerous deer, a ringtail, heard about some wild pigs in Escalera, as if the snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, centipedes and fire ants weren't enough to contend with!
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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It very well could have been, then I wouldn't worry too much about attacks here. The deer population is very large so they have plenty of food to hunt. You WILL see and hear Coyotes, they're all over the place but again, I've never heard of anyone around here being attacked by one (or at least in recent memory ) The wildlife here is part of what makes it the special place it is. I remember as a kid having an encounter with a mountain lion....this was in Tyler, Tx. I was outside by the road with our dog and one came out of the woods from the other side of the road. The dog went nuts barking at it (he was on a leash) and the lion just stood there looking at us and then went back in the woods.

I lived in Houston for a long time, then after I was married we moved to Colorado for 6 yrs. and that state is notorious for animals being brave enough to come down from the Hills into towns and Cities for that matter. We were in Denver, and every year someone was bitten or attacked by something. The news is always full of stories of bears, Foxes, Coyotes, lions, etc...coming into town via greenbelts looking for food and in some cases water. That kind of thing doesn't happen too much here. You may hear a story about wild pigs or deer rooting up yards, but not coyote or lion attacks.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Austin
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For years, I've been both terrified and fascinated by mountain lions. They are magnificent animals.

There have been unconfirmed sightings in Williamson county, but there are signs to be looked for wrt the presence of a mountain lion, and I haven't read about that evidence being present.

A map of counties, and some info about these cats:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publicat...w7000_0274.pdf

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publicat...w7000_0232.pdf

Last edited by capcat; 02-13-2010 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Mountain lions have been changing their behavior, as have many other "wild" species, as they become more accustomed to our presence and less frightened due to a drastic reduction in random hunting. My guess is that you did see a mountain lion. Sample articles about habitat expansion: Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) A Sure Cure for Mountain Lion Fever
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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The article sited has some good information, but I would call it mostly a biased point of view from someone who would love to go out and hunt a mountain lion. I have never heard of anyone importing mountain lions anywhere; they just aren't endangered enough to spend the money and effort on repopulation, and they seem to be doing fine without it. But I don't know everything, so I can't say that it absolutely doesn't happen. It is true that mountain lions have been rebounding in numbers due to protection, and it is also true that as the human population increases, they push out more into the urban/wildland interface, which will bring people in contact with all manner of wildlife. So it is really important to keep food attractants (pet food, unprotected small animals) in places that are not accessable to lions, so that they don't get the idea that it is great hunting to live around humans. (Same approach with other wildlife - like coyotes, racoons, foxes, etc.) It is also very true that mountain lions should be treated with caution, as they obviously can be deadly to people. In some cases, a dangerous animal will need to be killed, and it is a challenge for wildlife managers to determine which animals are actually a risk (without waiting for someone to be attacked). But most of them will never have an encounter with humans.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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I learned a lot about how to protect yourself when out hiking/exploring when we were in Colorado. It seemed every year, the local news had to remind us. If you go out hiking, walk with a big stick, walk with a heavy tread every so often, bang the stick on the ground....to let animals know something big is coming their way and they have a chance to get away from you. Keep small kids right next to you AT ALL TIMES! I was only there 6 years, but every year a small child would inevitably be taken by one right out from under their parents because the kid fell back from the group just far enough for a lion to sneak in. There was one story of a coyote trying that, but because they are smaller animals and can't really drag a small kid away very fast, the parents were able to catch up to it and get the child away. The urban/wildlife interface GGrasshopper mentions happened a lot in Idaho Springs. Lots of attacks of mountain bikers, especially those riding alone. The authorities say if you ever encounter one and it is attacking you or looks like it might, make yourself "bigger". Stand up straighter, scream and yell, raise your arms up, and if it is actually on you....fight back!
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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We had a mountain lion walk behind our property last year. I thought I was dreaming, but looked it up and found out that, yes, they are around.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:23 AM
 
2,250 posts, read 2,638,355 times
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Very good advice, Love Roses. Those who live in mountain lion country (or bear, or coyote, etc) need to know how to deal with them on the trail, in their yards, etc. Public education combined with good wildlife management (rangers that are skilled in understanding wildlife behavior, tracking problems, and judging whether they need to take action) are necessary for us to share wild areas with wild animals. It can be done safely, but only if people take the potential problems seriously.
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