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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Runner reports seeing mountain lion along river levee

June 30, 2006

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A Lawrence woman got more than a little exercise when she went out to run Thursday morning and found she was being stalked by what she is convinced was a mountain lion along the Kansas River levee.

"Yeah, I was scared," said Liz Dobbins, who said she was followed by the big cat for about a mile before making her escape, dashing for a mile to her car. "I was afraid I might be breakfast."

Dobbins said she wanted to make sure others who took to the levee for a run or a bike ride were aware of what she encountered.

"I know there's a lot of young kids out there on bicycles, and a lot of people running," she said. "My major concern was to let people know that there was something sighted out there so they would be more aware of going in groups - or not at all."

She is the latest among several residents to report mountain lions in the area during the last three years. There have been sightings on Kansas University's west campus, at the Alvamar Golf Club and west of Clinton Lake.

However, a state wildlife official said Thursday there was no official evidence the lions had been re-established in Kansas after being wiped out about a century ago.

Roger Wolfe, fisheries and wildlife region supervisor for the Lawrence and Topeka area, said his office received frequent reports of sightings.

But he said there hadn't been any conclusive evidence, such as roadkill or paw prints.

Some scat and a photo taken by an automated wildlife camera of a mountain lion on KU's west campus were not conclusive, Wolfe said.

Wolfe said he would be interested in talking with Dobbins and visiting the site to investigate.

Dobbins, who runs about twice a week along the levee, said she had gone out about 5:20 a.m. Thursday and headed east of the Kansas River bridge.

She had passed the 2.5-mile marker when she saw what she first thought was a dog. It came out of the tree line on her right, into the short grass, about 200 yards away.

"My first thought was 'leash law?' because I'm jogging," she said. "And then I took a closer look at it, and it was not a dog. It was a full-grown, big-sized cat. It was not a bobcat."

She guessed it was about as large as a German shepherd.

"But it was longer than a dog," she said. It had a long tail and was light tan in color, she said.

"It crouched down, looking at me. I came to a dead stop," Dobbins said. She was afraid to turn and run for fear it would chase her.

Liz Dobbins, Lawrence, tells about being stalked by a mountain lion on the Kansas River levee.

None

"So I just walked backward, yelling at him," she said. But her shouts of "Hey!" didn't scare it.

"In fact, he stood up and took, like, seven or eight steps and went back down in a crouching position," she said.

"I was pretty scared," said Dobbins, who is 5-feet-2 and weighs 110 pounds. She kept backing up and picked up some gravel.

"I didn't want to be attacked from behind," she said. "So I walked backward to the mile-and-a-half mark."

The animal followed, taking seven or eight steps at a time, then stopping to crouch and watch, she said.

Dobbins said she kept backing up, hoping to get to a home along the area that had sheep in a pen where the lion would look at them instead.

"About the time I got to the sheep, he lost interest and he went back into the woods," she said.

"I took a second look to make sure he wasn't looking at me," she said. Then she dashed back to her car in a parking lot by the levee.

Comments

garrenfamily 8 years, 6 months ago

My grandparents spotted one near their home in Tecumseh.

old_man 8 years, 6 months ago

5:20 in the morning and she is running by herself on the levee? She is lucky that is all she has run into!

moveforward 8 years, 6 months ago

Lots of folks run at this time of day. The levee is pretty safe and Liz is a smart strong gal. But few of us would be a match for a mountain lion.

"All they can know for sure is 100 years ago the sightings decreased."

So, Moses... what was it like back then?

tweetybird2 8 years, 6 months ago

I belive that the officials know they are here. I think they just want to keep it quiet.

BrianR 8 years, 6 months ago

I've seen a large kitty on the east levee, I thought it might have been a bobcat but it was dark so I couldn't say for sure it wasn't a mountain lion. All I know is that it was big and moved like a cat. I've owned enough cats to know a cat when I see one.

The article fails to point out that being an 'official' doesn't endow one with special powers of perception or understanding. If people are seeing mountain lions all over the place, there are probably mountain lions.

rayikeo 8 years, 6 months ago

This 110 lb lady is very lucky she saw the cougar go into the stalking mode. (crouching down and advancing slowly) or she could be just a statistic today and if they recovered her half eaten remains it would be a much differant story. The fish and game people need to take this sighting very seriously. Warning signs need to be posted also. Runners are at most risk because they appear to the cougars as fleeing prey.

justsomewench 8 years, 6 months ago

While the mountain lions still have maintained their coverup, the sightings of homeless camps along the river are not so disputed.

Baille 8 years, 6 months ago

What if you poke them with a stick?

Michael Birch 8 years, 6 months ago

There are no mountain lions in Kansas. Lions can

survive in warm climates where they have caves for

shelter. This is just another person trying to get

attention. She is like that idiot that claimed to have

been hit by a transit bus.

DHD

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Threat assessment:

Biggest threat to jogger on levee is man. Then mountain lion/cougar/hungry bobcat. Then pollution. Then cardiac arrest. Then lightning strike. Then nesting eagle.

concerned_citizen 8 years, 6 months ago

The answer to this even rhymes:

Carry a gun when you run!

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Now that Marlon Perkins has weighed in, we can all rest easy.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 6 months ago

What is Tweety talking about UFO's or mountain lions?

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 6 months ago

Aren't the mountain lions attracted to the roundabouts?

Dave McClain 8 years, 6 months ago

I had a cougar run across Bobwhite and jump up onto the Lake Alvamar Estates fountain about 3 years ago. It was an amazing sight. He leaped from between the houses on the north side of Bobwhite. had one step in the middle of the rad, and easily leaped the 5 feet or so up in the air onto the rock on the fountain. He jumped down to the brush to the east, and was gone. I was walking along the road and not but 20 feet from him. An amazingly graceful animal that had me awestruck in my tracks for minutes after he vanished.

dozerballz 8 years, 6 months ago

I grew up on the Nebraska border and have seen plenty of tracks and have heard plenty of stories about cougars. And there have been plenty of confirmed sightings around Falls City and Nebraska City, read the Omaha paper, they found two in the last year. One was hit by a car and another was shot by a police officer and survived. He now lives at the zoo up there. So these experts cant tell me that they're not around. I remember about 10 years ago when that moose wondered down from Canada or Minnesota, if he can make it that far I garuntee the Cats can make it from Omaha.

Dove 8 years, 6 months ago

Coincidently, my husband came home last night saying he spotted a "cat" that he said looked like a mountain lion on West Bob Billings Parkway on the North side of the street in that valley area. He said it was the size of a dog but with a long tail. It was just crazy that his article is in the paper today after hearing his story last night.

dozer 8 years, 6 months ago

THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING!

justsomewench 8 years, 6 months ago

I think a spot of Scotch tape to the paw is likely much more effective than sticks (and safer to run with).

Bleufer 8 years, 6 months ago

MacHeath - Are you kidding? A drunken game warden? Come on! There have been mountain lions discovered in Kansas in the past decade, but these all were released by the average Joe once he found out it was illegal to possess lions without the proper permits. I am sure there are more releasee lions out there. Most of these lions were killed by cars and determined by vets and/or KDWP to have been pets. Now KDWP might be a little messed up in some of their practices, but they are not releasing loins... nor rattle snakes in ballon... nor are the tukeys eating quail. Wild lions could be returning to KS, and if so, would use the river system as their navigation (hence the sighting on the levee). In IL, wildlife officials have found three wild lions dead in the last three years... all along river routs... at least one was from the WY area... so it is possible that they are moving into the area, but they are not being released.

ModSquadGal 8 years, 6 months ago

The sad thing is that the "solution" to all of this will be that some idiots will go and start killing these creatures because "GARSH, they might eat us up and we are just defenseless people, and THEY are in OUR environment..." WE are the ones that have invaded their space and now they have nowhere to go, and much easier prey to find (slow, stupid humans). It's like people that argue that you HAVE to allow deer hunting or the deer will overpopulate and die from starvation. If we would stop mucking with the predator/prey balance (or let it do its own thing like it has for milennia), then everything would work out as nature intended.

Let's see... animals seem to have done a really great job of surviving all on their own for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS before all the obnoxious, selfish, land gobbling humans came along.

Anyway... end of rant...

Mark Jakubauskas 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm the guy who set up the camera on West Campus, and also found the scat. The scat was tested by an independent laboratory, and found to be a male mountain lion, feeding on rabbits and other small mammals. The scat is NOT inconclusive; the DNA tests reveal that it indeed was a mountain lion. However, we have no evidence as to whether the lion was living there or just passing through; whether it was a native wild mountain lion or a released/escpaed captive; and currently no evidence of an established population of cougars in Kansas yet. However, an excellent organization - the Cougar Network - http://www.easterncougarnet.org/ - records and monitors cougar sightings in the midwest, and has established standards for cougar sightings. Cougars have been found in COlorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Arkansas; in other words, every state but Kansas. The nearest sightings to Kansas were a cougar captured in Omaha a few years ago, and a cougar killed by a car on I-435 near the airport. Animals likely are migrating up river corridors, so the sighting on the levee is not unexpected.

Baille 8 years, 6 months ago

Enforcer:

I figured if you poked them (animals - moutain lion or homeless) they might attack.

I am just trying to flesh out your "why animals attack" list. So far we have (1) hungry; (2) rabid); and (3) poked with a stick. I guess I could add kicked out of the "dirty Dillons," but I think that would be limited to just the homeless. Although, if you tried to forcibly remove a mountain lion from the produce department...

neverwrong 8 years, 6 months ago

There are mountain lions around. Once had a doberman attacked by one. State officials came and took plaster molds of the tracks and covered it up. They don't want every old lady that hears a cat meow to call it in as a mountain lion. That is why they do not admit they are here.

And yes, turkey do kill off quail. Don't open your mouth unless you know what you are talking about.

Mark Jakubauskas 8 years, 6 months ago

Some other comments on mountain lions:

1) As a scientist, I don't buy these stories of KDWP releasing mountain lions. Bogus. These stories come up in every state where mountain lions have been sighted, and the stories always fail the laugh test.

2) Generally, mountain lions are shy and reclusive. Statistically, you're far more likely to get struck by lightning or attacked by someone's dog than attacked by a cougar.

3) I've had my share of sighting reports, most of which usually end up being a dog, a coyote, a bobcat, or completely inconclusive. Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable, so if you've sighted a cougar, get a picture, get a scat, get a footprint, or get the body. HARD evidence, not "My Aunt Edna saw a black one once, and it ran off with her little scnauzer and climbed onto the mothership and flew away..."

4) Wild cougars are all around us, in every state surrounding Kansas. They're coming. It's only a question of "When" not "If."

5) Yes, there have been escaped/released cougars running around in Kansas. They don't do too well, not having the skills to adapt to the wild, and often have had teeth removed or filed down while in captivity.

Bleufer 8 years, 6 months ago

Neverwrong - prove it. When did you see this?

neverwrong 8 years, 6 months ago

Bleufer,

It was not in Lawrence area. South of O.P. many years ago.

Also, to an earlier poster that commented about deer not being here many years ago......We have whitetail from Misery to thank for our tick problem. Most people had never seen a tick 40-50 years ago.

kmat 8 years, 6 months ago

I walk my dog along the levee almost every night. We sometimes go down near the river and have seen big tracks before. There are plenty of deer that live in the woods along the river, so there's plenty of food for the cats.

My father's family farm in Williamsburg had plenty of cougars. He and my grandmother said they've always seen them there since the early '30's when they bought it.

The wildlife dept is trying to keep people from freaking out. They don't want people to act like they do in Cali trying to kill any they see. Having lived in So. Cali, there are tons of them in residential areas, but only because they have no true space of their own any more. My in-laws live near a small nature reserve (basically a hill that they won't allow any homes built on) and they see cougars, bobcats and coyotes every night. No one there can leave their animals out unattended. It's sad that they end up with no territory of their own and have to live amongst people. If they had their way, they wouldn't live near us.

I hope no one freaks out and kills one here. It was their territory first. We have just encroached on it.

mason 8 years, 6 months ago

Down south of 68-HWY near Ottawa there have been at least three cases of something mutilating newborn calves, in recent years. The old farmer said it looked like something had ripped it up and eaten some of it. Also, this year one of the hunters in that same area cleaned a deer he had shot out in his back pasture and left the entrails. That evening he saw a mountain lion eating what was left.

I also have heard that they have tagged a couple of mountain lions in Nebraska and they recaptured them in Oklahoma. I think a mountain lion's range is around 200 or 300-miles.

We live in the country. I think it's time to get a bigger dog!

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

this just in the people of lawrence are dumb, we do not know any thing, a mountain lion is not a mountain lion, and a tornadoe is not a tornado, we are all dillusional> I know my spelling is off but hey the experts think we are all dumb so what the heck.

rayikeo 8 years, 6 months ago

This Cougar showed aggression toward a human with no fear of the human. This is a dangerous situation for runners on the levee. The next story we read about Cougars on the levee will be, "Jogger missing, remains found". When Cougars loose thier fear of humans they become extremely dangerous and life threatening. Make a choice here, which one should be sacrificed first, the jogger or the cougar.

BrianR 8 years, 6 months ago

I saw a mountain lion having a pina colada at Henry's. His fur was perfect.

rayikeo 8 years, 6 months ago

Important Information taken from (the Original Bob post)

This runned did the right thing to save her life.

What to Do If You Encounter a Puma (Pumas are Cougars)

MANHATTAN, Kan. Puma stalk, chase or jump down on their prey from behind, aiming for the neck. So, turning and running from one is the worst thing people can do, said Charles Lee, a Kansas State University Research and Extension wildlife specialist.

"Making a predator feel cornered cutting off its escape route is just as dangerous," he said. "So is seeming to challenge it for its young or food."

At the same time, puma seem to prefer not fighting particularly when they could lose, Lee said. Experience and research both indicate that taking the following actions can help humans who encounter a puma in the wild:

  • If you simply see "sign," (tracks, scratches, hidden deer kills or the like) pick up and carry children. Keep pets close; a straying pet could lead a puma back to your campsite.

  • If you actually see a puma, stand tall. If you can, raise your arms, jacket or pack above your head to make yourself look bigger.

  • Face the puma and talk calmly, firmly.

  • Do NOT approach the animal. Stand still or slowly back away without turning around.

  • Do NOT bend, crouch or otherwise look submissive.

"Most puma will back down, if they can," Lee said. "If an aggressive one attacks, though, yell and fight back. Use anything nearby rocks, sticks, equipment. If the puma knocks you down, get up again. And keep remembering there are cases on record of determined people's fighting off a puma with their bare hands."

rayikeo 8 years, 6 months ago

enforcer should change his name to "agitator"

CheyenneWay 8 years, 6 months ago

Mountain Lion? Pfffffttttt!!! I saw a Yeti the other day eating my trash. Filthy bastard didnt even pick the can up after tipping it over in the street.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

First, it was gators eating people in Florida. Now this? And the K-State extension guy says "look big, but don't provoke." But if the puma attacks, beat on him like Mike Tyson. I'm a little confused. Are animals our friends, or should we clobber them like the Iraqi Republican Guard?

brujablanco 8 years, 6 months ago

enforcer=her

You sure? and if so, who cares?

scott3460 8 years, 6 months ago

"Make a choice here, which one should be sacrificed first, the jogger or the cougar."

Do we get to vote?

Redneckgal 8 years, 6 months ago

'However, a state wildlife official said Thursday there was no official evidence the lions had been re-established in Kansas after being wiped out about a century ago"

And I say BS. There has been several sightings in Franklin County out here southwest of Ottawa. In fact our local paper ran a story several months ago about a little girl being stalked by one while out playing in her back yard on the outskirts of town. The people live near a wooded area and just luckily a friend of theirs pulled in the driveway and seen a big cat hunched down in some tall grass watching the little girl. They got the little girl inside and the Dad actually followed the cat in his pick-up for a distance. There have been a few farmers report seeing one or at least the tracks of a big cat in that general area too for a couple of years now.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Guy from Ottawa in pick up truck stalking a mountain lion.

Now I'm officially concerned.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

One thing I've learned from my time in the Rockies is KEEP YOUR SMALL CHILDREN BY YOUR SIDE when there is any chance of a lion being around. People have lost children in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. Just turn your back for a second, and without a sound your toddler is gone. Anyone living in the area where she was jogging needs to maintain an awareness of the threat to their pets and children.

This is what I find upsetting about how the authorities are handling this. She is 110 pounds, yet that lion was quite sure he wanted to eat her. What do the authorities think? A 30/70 chance that it really WAS a lion? That would then be a 30% chance that an animal is stalking poeple with the intention of killing.

If a lion kills a child, who will think that this was handled well? I'd love for the LJW to pay for a polygraph test for this runner. If she passes the test, I'm convinced.

Redneckgal 8 years, 6 months ago

Well oscarfactor..I guess at least our men are man enough to want to protect their children down here.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

"And I say BS. There has been several sightings in Franklin County out here southwest of Ottawa."

And the authorities DO agree that they are in Nebraska. How far away is that? Look at the spread of armadillos out of Texas into OK and KS. I see dead amadillos on the turnpike between Wichita and Emporia. I never saw ONE in all my years growing up in Wichita. If armadillos can move up that fast, why is there so much sceptism about lions moving from CO or NE into KS?

This is not an academic matter! If they are here, they are going to prey on anything they think looks tasty and easy to kill. Livestock, pets and humans.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 6 months ago

Dogs are no match for a mountain lion? Sorry but thats b.s., that is how they hunt them in the desert.....Granted they use around a half dozen dogs and their job is to tree or corner it until the hunter arrives, but still dogs ARE a match for them because they are pack animals and have numbers on their side.

BrianR 8 years, 6 months ago

This cat was probably not looking for a meal, I've been out the east levee enough to know that there is ample food for a cat out there. For all we know this cat was just curious, cats are like that. All cats.

I don't like the dog theory either, I've seen house cats whip a dog. Cats, no matter how big, are sharp on both ends and are the perfect land predators -- they shouldn't be trifled with.

Thanks Marion

dozer 8 years, 6 months ago

My neigbhor has a yappy dog that I would be happy to use as a piece offering to a mountain lion. Anyone want to take a roadtrip to Ottawa?

hottruckinmama 8 years, 6 months ago

miami county also has had a couple of sightings of this nature. as a matter of fact one morning in april on I-35 northbound between wellsville and edgerton there were a several people report a very large cat dead along side the road. by the time anyone got there to check it out it was gone. my guess is someone maybe picked it up?

ladysilk 8 years, 6 months ago

How soon before LJW bans iblong? That post won't last long.

girly 8 years, 6 months ago

My brother told me that a army corp friend told him they released a pair of cougars at all corp lakes in ks several years back to minimize the deer (or something) population. They won't admit it because they'd be held liable if anyone was attacked.

Iwanttosaythis 8 years, 6 months ago

DOES ANYONE IF THE LION WAS AN ILLEGAL OMG!!!!

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

The only pumas that NYers know about are the sneakers.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

I saw a puma get clipped by a Lawrence Transit bus.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, there were no other witnesses because no one was riding the bus.

Prydain 8 years, 6 months ago

The mountain lion killed on I-435 a few years back was determined to be an escaped captive lion. The teeth were not consistent with a wild lion.

dozer 8 years, 6 months ago

Let's build a fence around Lawrence and have the LPD patrol the fence, that'll keep that no good puma out of our city.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Multi: The driver couldn't see it because he was on a cell phone.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

"This cat was probably not looking for a meal"

Assuming the jogger was telling the truth, how do you explain the "stalking" behavior? My domesticated cats do that when they are playing. Wild lions don't play with humans.

Just because there is a lot of food around doesn't mean the lion's going to pass on a meal. A human in the paw is better than two in the bush.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well no matter the type of big cat it is a big cat and there have been to many sightings of big cats in this area. So either all these people are parting at the same place and have the same dillusions, or we have a very real problem in the making and I for one think the experts should just try to come up with a plan on how to deal with the problem. Every one keep dogs and cats inside or leashes not in your yard and never let your kids out of sight.

amac 8 years, 6 months ago

it's really not safe to leave home anymore...sun, heat, cougars...OH MY! Maybe the pyros will scare it off.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

can we try please we like to blow things up.... well he does any way I just watch.

Susan Mangan 8 years, 6 months ago

I understand how they get the underground fence there, but just how do they get all of those collars on all those mountain lions so they shock 'em when they try to cross into Kansas? Thank goodness we've got secure borders! Maybe the State Wildlife "experts" can give a few tips to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Confrontation 8 years, 6 months ago

Another mountain lion lost to a blonde runner.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well I really think the "excperts" should really take this serious, to many sightings kinda a problem i would think.

BrianR 8 years, 6 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad, You're kidding, right?

Farmboy 8 years, 6 months ago

I think the mountain lion was released by Phil Kline; he can then issue a press release that we need not worry,mountain lions are illegal and he will talk it to death.

jbrittm 8 years, 6 months ago

"And if hunting still bothers anyone, just remember to hug that deer real hard when it comes through your windshield one night - it's probably as scared as you are."

...

Yes, so scared, in fact, that we should kill it. Kill all of them for trying to run across our roads. Maybe with the concealed weapons we're now allowed to carry.

Ken Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Let's use a large net made out of hemp to capture the beast.

Susan Mangan 8 years, 6 months ago

I killed a poor deer on the way home from Wichita the other night. That was after discussing, with my husband, for over an hour about the astronomical number of deer along the highway that night. We counted over 30 within 20 feet of the highway along a 2-hour drive. We were going below the speed limit, but there was nothing we could do when it jumped the center median and landed in front of our car. I swerved enough to avoid a major frontal collision, but the poor deer didn't make it after smacking the side of my car.

If we had more time, we would have had some great meat for Chili for the next year.

75 X 55 - I totally agree with you. Personally, I would rather shoot it quickly than have to watch it bleed to death after hitting it with my car. I don't mind hunting, but my goal isn't to make it suffer in the process. Any humane hunter's goal is to kill it quickly, without it suffering needlessly. You can argue about the humanity of hunting, all you like, but it doesn't feel good to watch an animal suffering because it's been hit by 4,000 pounds of steel and you can't shoot it to put it out of it's misery.

Bobbi Reid 8 years, 5 months ago

They are in Jefferson County as well, we have seen them there for the last 3-4 years. The conservation department has been releasing them near the river in Valley Falls.

mztrendy 8 years, 5 months ago

this is just a good example of why people shouldn't run.

kingdork44 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh, Jeez, She was running by herself at 5:20am. Who the hell is up then?????? How unsafe. Who's pet got lose anyway!!!!!!

Jeff Goodrick 8 years, 5 months ago

The State release some 10 years ago to take down the deer population, and some captive ones got away in Jeff co a couple years back, I know of a couple of them living west of Lecompton. Last winter I saw one jump over a 7 foot fence at Kaw Motors, so I know it wasn't a dog.

Thanks

ChasL 8 years, 5 months ago

It is illegal to kill a Mountain Lion in Kansas.

With all the sightings in the state you'd think there would be one clear footprint or photo...........please show me one. We should be up to our arses in cat's based on the number of "sightings".

If the KDW&P did say we had Mountian lion, how long do you think it would be before some tree hugger group started shutting off our PUBLIC land as habitat for our endangered KS Cougars???

Colorado does have big cats............How many people get mauled by cats yearly in that state?? Few if any.

Increasing deer tags available to hunters reduces deer numbers in far greater amounts than a couple of kitties. Great logic isn't it................release cats so we can't make money from selling tags, priceless!!

Been hunting and fishing that section of river for a couple of decades(can't hunt it now) and have never seen a shred of cat sign.

Another "BIG CAT" sighting..........I'm all giddy.

Gardenninja 8 years, 5 months ago

So wildlife officials say cougars haven't been "established" in Kansas. What does "established" mean? Besides the escaped and dumped pets, there could be roaming young adult males. Mark_Jakubauskas's cougar was a male....

Adolescent/young adult males can travel great distances to find a territory away from established males, until they are older. It doesn't mean there are any breeding females around. Virtually all cougar incursions into cities (as opposed to small towns or developments near wild or open areas) are young males.

Though since wild cougars are usually shy of people, the one following the jogger was more likely a former pet that wasn't afraid of humans.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

plain and simple most wild animals that are not afraid of humans, should be caught and reeducated, they should have a fear that knows no bounds. And the reverse for us we should fear them, do not approach, they are wild.

Mark Jakubauskas 8 years, 5 months ago

Stories come from every state where cougars have been sighted about departments of wildlife/game/resources secretly re-introducing cougars to control the deer population. And so far, they're nothing but that: stories. Actually, they fit the classic form of an urban legend; it's always related by "my brother's friend's cousin" or "this guy knew a guy" but there's never any proof. Plain and simple, the story never manages to pass the "laugh test" for reasons outlined by ChasL above.

Plenty of people have seen cougars in Kansas; plenty of people have also seen UFOs, pink elephants, and images of Jesus on a grilled-cheese sandwich. Now, that's not to dismiss all reports as bogus; the report from the jogger on the leveee demands some attention, as she clearly got a good, long look at the beast and described it well. But eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable; I've been called to come look at pictures of and pawprints of things people swore up and down were of cougars; but turned out to be bobcats, dogs, coyotes, or foxes. In this regard, I really do have some sympathy for Wildlife and Parks. Lots of sightings, but never any solid, scientifically defensible, testable evidence.

Are there wild cougars in Kansas ? Probably. They're in every state around us, and I don't think they'll stop at the boundary line like the old Yogi Bear cartoons. Have they established a population - are they breeding - in Kansas ? We don't know. To a certain extent, why worry ?

Now, a couple of posters above refer to something that IS potentially a problem: that of habituation of animals to humans. In the case of the cougars in Boulder, Colorado, a few years ago, the cougars slowly lost their fear of people, began coming out in daylight, began preying on neighborhood dogs - all signals that were ignored that shouldn't have been ignored, that these wild animals were becoming habituated to humans. Habituation is a problem with any wild animal, whether that be cougars in Kansas, ground squirrels in Utah, or bears in Yellowstone.

coolmom 8 years, 5 months ago

why did the cougar cross the road? if it had wanted the jogger she never would of seen it....by all means lets kill all non domesticated things for our safety since they are probably dangerous. people who do bad things should be given more chances. they were probably raised wrong and didnt know what they were doing. maybe we could send that guy after the mountain lion with the bb gun lol.

Baille 8 years, 5 months ago

Good job, Enforcer. You thought of another addition to our list. We have now determined that animals attack when they are:

(1) hungry; (2) rabid); (3) poked with a stick; (4) forcibly removed from a produce department; and (5) when they smell fear.

This is getting to be a pretty comprehensive list.

Baille 8 years, 5 months ago

"Guy from Ottawa in pick up truck stalking a mountain lion.

"Now I'm officially concerned."

Keeps them from stalking KU professors of religion.

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

macheath wrote: "whether any of you want to believe it or not, the corp released a pair of mountain lions in the clinton lake area, supposidly to help control the friggin deer population."

I wish they would release something to control the pesky little animals that have overrun my yard. I understand why dogs and cats have to stay indoors or on a leash, but the result is that squirrels and rabbits and oppossums and raccoons have no predators. HELP!

SpeedRacer 8 years, 5 months ago

I saw a mountain lion when I was fishing on the south side of Clinton lake about 10 years ago. I tried to tell Fish & Game but thet blew me off telling me it was likely a bob cat. I lived in Southern Cal for many years...I KNOW what a mountain lion looks like, and if bob cats are growing that big, we are in big trouble. I don't know why they are in denial. There have been no reports of any problems on farms because there is plenty of small game around; likewise they will not be a threat to people as long as they have food available to them. But people need to be educated on what to do when they encounter one. At least we don't have gators dragging joggers off the levee.

barelygettingby 8 years, 5 months ago

Okay people, you are in the midwest. We have wild animals here. Get over it. Generally, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. If you torment them, they will in turn torment you back. Law of nature, isn't it? I can't beleive how many people freak out about deer, skunks, and raccoons being in town as well. Where do you think they are going to be when they have little to no place to go. I guess they don't know how to read the "No Wild Animals" signs that people seem to think are posted at the city limits. Common sense says if you are aware of potential danger, avoid it. So stay away from the downtown clubs, restaurants that tend to get robbed, and the levee if you are afraid of big animals.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

oh just get rid of the fireworks ban and that will take care of nature for a few days. People holiday weekend go out and enjoy.

hockmano 8 years, 5 months ago

I belive there are mountain lions. My sister lives on fifth and Mississippi and she witnessed a fox was in her front yard. So if there are probably mountain lions too. Scary!

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 5 months ago

If you are being chased by one of these critters, and the sound like a screaming woman, start taking your closthes off. They'll stop to rip up your shirt while you, hopefuly, get away. May not be practical for a jogger, though, becuase they don't wear much clothing in the first place.

Baille 8 years, 5 months ago

Are you talking about guys in pickups from Ottawa, Azure?

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