Little Chloe is gone - Mt.Lion food!

lilod(NoCal/8)September 14, 2010

IÂve lived on this property since 1984, Joann lived on it two years longer. We had goats, horses, free-range chickens and abundant deer, coming down from the hills and hanging around the undeveloped property , studded with oaks, across the road, feasting on acorns. Mountain lions followed the deer, their primary prey, never paying attention to the inhabitants on our place.

We walked our dogs around the pond late in the evening, the only concern a possible skunk.

How things have changed: the property across the road is now developed, the people have a whole lot of dogs and the deer would not be welcome.

But then, there are few deer, there was one doe around for a while this summer. The 2008 wildfires apparently decimated a lot of wildlife, and there are so many more developed properties in the "outback", off the grid living is much easier and less expensive thanks to solar technology.

So it comes to this fall: Mountain lion sighting, a big male, walking casually on the county road - now Chloe, the smallest of our goats, is gone - there is absolutely no sign that she was taken, no hair, blood or broken fence; he must have grabbed her and jumped the fence . She was small, maybe 50#.

So now we worry, Joann and Ron went and fixed the hot wire - all the human medical problems had put the fence check on the back-burner. But if that cat can jump the fence without breaking the wire, it may not make any difference.

The scarcity of deer doesnÂt only affect the Mt. Lion, there are lots of coyotes in the hills behind our place and, to just add a little more of a problem, a woman who had fed bears for years had been cited and made to stop, she has moved off her ranch, so there are any number of bears looking for food before hibernating. Bears that are not used to forage, but recognize buildings as places to find food. A good many people are not too happy.

There is some rain predicted for the weekend, early for our rainy season, hoping it will be the beginning of a good, wet season, the beasts usually move back into the hills.

This is the third day since Chloe is gone and the other three are still around, very nervous and cautious.

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Lilo..this is so hard to read and I can't imagine how you are feeling with this having happened. It's one thing to lose a loved pet over an illness or old age because it's a natural part of the cycle,but not what happened to Chloe. I'm really sorry and I swear I'd be camping out there,except they do eat people too.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Lilo, your post really brings home the reality of living close to nature. I'm very sorry to hear of Chloe's loss; I'd feel a little insecure for myself, but then, I guess I'm a city girl, at heart.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 6:19PM
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I am so sorry about Cloe. It's so hard to loose a pet and to go missing this way is heartbreaking.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 6:22PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I am so sorry about your little Chloe. However, I wish I could send you our over abundance of whitetail deer as Puma food. Or maybe you could send some of those cats here.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Lilo, reading your post, which is both intensely emotional and at the same time aware of the realities of the natural world, makes me know why you are one of the most amazing women I know. Feeding bears may seem "cute" but then we transform animals from what they would do naturally into animals that now become what we call a "problem." And then we want to kill the very thing we have made.

And then we come back to dear little Chloe. There is so much love in your messages about her! I know she is gone, but in a funny way she has become unforgettable.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 6:56PM
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The three remaining goats are still here and getting a little less nervous. This is not a balanced group: 2 boy and one girl is bad news! We have an offer of two pigmy females, they were a friend's boy's pets and the kid is getting tired of them, we shall most likely have them in our herd. Just hoping we don't see that lion any more. Hot wire may be a deterrent, it is working great, we can hear it clicking from our decks.
Chloe will not be forgotten; she was small and a character, racing down the slope so fast she'd fall on her face, roll over, shake herself off and continue.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:09PM
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What I wanted to add: at least she was food for a wild creature, sometimes they get attacked by people's pet dogs and get killed just because the dogs like to do that.
We rescued one - Caprice - several years ago from a couple of Shar Pei, they avoided the electric fence by digging under it - it was not pretty. Two weeks of intense vetting got her healed.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:17PM
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Lilo, I am so sorry about little Chloe.
What a terrible way to lose a pet.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:20PM
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