Cougars in the Mountains

Dory went to feed Bob — the colt her white roan, Grace, birthed a couple of months ago — and noticed quite a gash high on his butt, near his hip bone. On further inspection, she found that there were several smaller cuts as well and that the pattern of them seemed to indicate that it was a cougar attack.

Despite the official line that cougars are extinct in these mountains, our family has sighted several over the years. They are called extinct because their numbers are considered too few to be genetically sustainable, not because they aren’t here at all.

So, it’s not far-fetched to conclude that a cougar tried to take down Bob and failed. There are two sets of cuts, each set has four, and they start spread farther apart than they are at their end — a fan effect that one would expect from cat claws … big ones. It’s less likely, but possible, that a bear could have done this, but bears around here are the more docile black bears that are happy eating vegetarian fare when it’s plentiful, which it is this year.

Bob’s ok, though there will surely be a scar from the one deep cut despite the antibiotic ointment being applied.

Dory checked with some neighbors and found that several people have had smaller farm animals and pets killed lately by some large animal. One neighbor, Alvin, said there have been at least three tied up dogs killed in the last six weeks or so.  One was his sister’s dog right next door!  Another dog, a bulldog, got away and was terrified. The other was torn to pieces, pieces the size of Alvin’s fist.  Other neighbors, Carl and Julie, lost two goats and an expensive hunting dog, which was killed and drug up under a big rock.

So, cougar or bear, there is something large and hungry making its rounds here on Spring Creek.

-Vanessa

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