Little Chloe is gone - Mt.Lion food!
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.