Mountain Lion in Our Neighborhood

cougarSteve and I live in a neighborhood in Oak Hill called Granada Oaks which is adjacent to Granada Hills and South View Estates. Though we are just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, these are fairly “country” neighborhoods with lot sizes ranging from 1 to 2 acres on average. We have an abundance of trees and wildlife.

Recently the neighborhood email list has been active with fears and concerns about a Mountain Lion that has been roaming the area. It has taken down a deer, and it’s tracks have been verified next to the carcass of the deer.

Many of the wildlife rescue sites claim that most mountain lion sightings are actually other wildlife and that most people are so inexperienced at identifying cougars and their tracks that the sightings usually turns out to be a fox, coyote or even domestic animals like dogs and large cats. Also, in researching this topic, I learned that in the years between 1890 and 2007 there have “only” been 17 actual reported mountain lion attacks on humans in the North American continent. Not exactly cause for alarm.

It is nevertheless still a bit unsettling to think that one of these magnificent creatures is roaming the woods behind our house. It is also cool to know these beautiful large cats still exist among us. When the wildlife people came to check out the tracks, the tracks were confirmed to be those of a mountain lion, but the official was not concerned that it would be a threat to humans because he says there are “plenty of deer and other food for them to eat”.

Of course, I would not be thrilled to come across one of these mountain lions while walking around the neighborhood. I am sure it may be a bit more disconcerting than my encounter with a ferocious squirrel inside a house I was showing yesterday…but that’s another blog!

9 thoughts on “Mountain Lion in Our Neighborhood”

  1. Yeah, If would be a different story if I encountered a crazy mountain lion as I walked out the shower room! 😀 Well, It seems you have little to be worried about.

  2. that’s really kinda cool. I know it makes me sound like a Yankee, but I still think it is neat to see a dead Armadillo on the road. Still have not seen a live one. In Chicago, I saw a opossum once. Normal wildlife there was stray cats and the super rats that looked like cats with short legs and hairless tails.

  3. Great story, Sylvia! It gives another picture for those of us who live outside your area of its natural “charms”.

    Behind our house, in Queensland, Australia, this morning we found an injured possum (a native, Aussie species) hiding in our compost bin. I put on thick gloves and we put it in a pet carry cage and my wife took it to the local vet. It’s encounters with wild creatures like this that remind us all of connections with nature that those of us who are city dwellers rarely see.

  4. I love this story. Carried on in the tradition of my Grandfather, Russell Culbreath, you have captured the love, fear, and respect for these creatures. I hope they continue to thrive in spite of civilization, the environment, and…TRAPPERS. I can recall my grandfather telling me stories of all the animals he was paid to kill…in order to protect government land and cattle. Later in life, he searched them out, just to watch them and appreciate their presence and beauty. Even if some of them are dangerous, they belong here. I hope they stay. I would be terrified to see one in my yard, but honestly, I would let it be there, so that I could show my love and respect.

  5. Thank you for writing about this wonderful encounter. Sadly, Texas is the only state in the U. S., if memory serves, that still allows the killing of mountain lions for any reason, any time, with no permit of any kind. These animals have gained the respect they deserve in almost every other state except Texas. Predators are a very important part of all ecosystems in order to maintain balance on resources.

  6. They are amazing, and I am a huge animal lover… However… I have a 2 yr old. And I have found 2 of my very large dogs mauled by a Mt lion the lives aroud this property somewhere… And when I see it I will shoot it, name it and then use the hide as a floor rug

  7. I live in rural part of Bee Cave and just yesterday saw some “scat” that was larger than my dogs and looked “interesting” (as much as scat can). I actually immediately thought mountain lion as had to be a large animal and it was almost identical to some of the photos on line of cougar scat. Given I have small children and some pets I do find it a little unsettling and also a little hard to believe though the poop is persuasive.

  8. Thanks Russel. It could very well be a mountain lion. They usually “hunt” at night, and are more afraid of us than we are of them, I am told. Be sure your children don’t wander alone outside at dusk or at night, which is when the mountain lion could be out and about.

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