Category Archives: Felids

Repost: Man Gets Eaten By Lion in Africa

This is a great oldie that is getting posted around a lot again. Enjoy.

Many, many people insist that this video must be fake, and actually, it is.

The story is that this is a very famous video that was taken in the mid-1970’s in Africa on a safari. The tourist was apparently from London. It was entered as evidence in a court case. The insurance company used this tape evidence in court to deny the life insurance claim for the guy. They argued that the man engaged in “gross stupidity” and therefore they were not on the line for payout.

In truth, this video is fake. It is said to have occurred in Wallasee National Park in Angola in the mid-70’s. There is no such place in Angola or anywhere in Africa.

The “attack victim” is named Pit Dernitz, and he has his own IMDB entry for this video. He is a very famous lion trainer.

This clip was taken from an Italian Mondo film called Ultime Grida Dalla Savana, which contains many similar clips.

This film was never entered into any court case.

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

20 Comments

Filed under Accidents, Africa, Animals, Carnivores, East Africa, Felids, Gross, Lions, Mammals, Regional, Sick, Sick and Evil, Wild, Wildlife

Tough Guy Thinks He Is Too Tough to Run from Lions

Here.

That was a very bad decision.

Remember, in order to not get killed by the lion chasing me, I don’t have to outrun the lion. I just have to outrun you. A good analogy for allo sorts of “arms races” between humans or groups of humans.

5 Comments

Filed under Animals, Felids, Idiots, Lions, Mammals, Wild

Mountain Lion Kills a Deer in Colorado

Absolutely incredible footage. The deer starts across the road, and immediately the mountain lion is on top of it, jaws into its neck. They tussle about for a bit and finally the cougar wins. The cougar tries to drag its prey out of the road and finally takes off as the humans drive by in the car. Somehow all of this is amazingly captured on cellphone cam.

Wow!

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

21 Comments

Filed under Animals, Carnivores, Colorado, Felids, Herbivores, Lions, Mammals, USA, West, Wild

Mountain Lion Kills, Eats Wolf

Here.

Pretty amazing. There have been only three cases on record of this happening. The wolf was a yearling, so it was about as big as a coyote. Top predators killing and eating each other. That can’t possibly be common.

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.

2 Comments

Filed under Animals, Canids, Carnivores, Felids, Lions, Mammals, North America, Regional, USA, West, Wild, Wolves, Wyoming

Badgers, Bobcats and Roadkills

Repost from the old site.

A few years ago, I was driving to a major California Central Valley city for a post-operation appointment with my surgeon, when I saw a very strange roadkill beside the busy two-lane highway. When you live in rural areas, you get so you can spot the roadkills, species-wise, after a while. Most of them are the usual, and I don’t stop to look at those. But every now and again you see something unusual.

A few weeks ago, there was a dead bobcat on the road only a mile from my home. Seeing a dead one is a strange experience. You expect such a fearsome predator to be large, but a bobcat is usually only about as big as a very large house cat. It differs from Kitty in having extremely long legs and a very short snub tail.

After living here 14 years, I have only seen two roadkilled bobcats. I have seen, or heard, three other bobcats, two of them running across the highway. Sighting a bobcat is a funny experience. When you see one running, you instantly think it is a rabbit because of the rabbit-like way that it runs. Also, they run extremely fast, so you typically only get a short glance at them.

Years ago, a woman who was staying with me for a bit put some cat food out for the “outside cats” (I had seven cats at the time – five indoor and two outdoor cats). At 9:30 at night, she came running to get me.

“Bob!” she said excitedly. “Do rabbits eat cat food?!”

“Well, um, no, I don’t think so,” I answered dumbfounded.

“Well, I opened up the door and a rabbit was eating cat food, and it ran away really fast!” She was really excited.

“Huh?” I asked. This wasn’t making sense.

With some more questioning and some research in my animal books, I determined that she had actually seen a bobcat. I asked her if it could have been a bobcat, and she said, “Maybe”. A damn bobcat had come up on the porch to eat cat food, and then run away so fast that she thought it was a rabbit. Once again, note the rabbit misinterpretation due to its running style.

A couple of years after I moved up to the mountains here, I heard a disturbing bobcat tale. The neighbor across the road had a lot of ducks penned up inside a fenced area. I have no idea what he did with them. Well, one morning, he got up at dawn to silence in the duck pen. Curious, he went out to check and found 20 ducks, all slaughtered, and one fat, contented bobcat sleeping in his duck pen!

He yelled at the bobcat, the cat woke up and was gone in an instant. This is yet another report of the curious “bloodlust” behavior of some wild animals (especially wild North American cats) when they get amidst a paradise of easy kills. This bobcat killed every single duck in sight in mad bloodlust, even though he couldn’t possibly eat all those ducks.

A few years later, I was out walking at night when I approached a lake by the side of the road about 1/4 mile from my home. The lake is fenced and there are trees all around it.

I heard a loud rustling in a young pine tree and saw the pine sway. It seemed odd, like there was something too large to be in the tree hiding in the tree. I cautiously approached the young pines, staring upwards and shining my flashlight at the tree.

Suddenly, there was a loud “ROWWLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!” and one of the pines lurched towards me. It was loud, I mean real loud, and scary as Hell. I jumped back a few feet and stared at the pine, shining my light at it. After a bit, I walked away.

Thinking it over, I decided that had to be a bobcat up in that little pine. Bobcats are truly terrifying when cornered, as the American frontier phrase “Fight like a wildcat” implies, and they are capable of a “hair-raising scream”.

What’s strange is that bobcats apparently live all around here constantly in fairly good numbers. Yet they are almost never seen, like ghosts in the woods.

Anyway, back to the roadkill heading to the doc’s office. I drove past the roadkill and thought, “Damn! That was weird.” And I also thought, “Badger”. What’s weird is I have never seen a live badger in the wild and have seen only one roadkill.

But the one roadkill all it took to imprint it on my memory. I turned around and went back to the kill and got out to look at it. Badger! And on the floor of the Central Valley yet, not far from orchards and grape vines. How odd.

There’d been a tremendous amount of rain that year (my town had received 57 inches already – a very wet year), and the grass was about 3-6 feet high in this part of the Valley where I found the badger, perfect habitat for badgers. American badgers are quite a bit different from the European badgers fairly common in England.

Badgers have supposedly become rare in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills in recent years for unknown reasons, possibly due to poisoning of ground squirrels by ranchers.

Like its European cousins, the American badger is a nocturnal digger with massive claws for digging out the ground-dwelling rodents it preys on. Badgers dig huge burrows and leave big massive marks in the ground with their claws. American badgers, like bobcats, are also rarely seen.

I grabbed the roadkilled badger and threw it in the trunk on my car! Wow, am I nuts or what? Then I drove to the California Department of Fish and Game office in the big city, walked into the office and announced I had a badger for them.

A few years back, a biologist had told me to bring in any ringtail or badger roadkills I found when I told him about roadkills of these species I found. The ringtail is another animal that reportedly lives around here in good numbers but is almost never seen.

The biologists came out, opened the truck, wrapped the badger in plastic bags, and took it into the office where they threw it in the freezer. They like to examine certain wild animals, cut them up, dissect them, see what they are eating, maybe mount them, etc. Yes, the weirdo biologists around you actually encouraged me to pick up roadkilled animals and bring them to their lab.

Can you see walking in the door in the evening and your wife asks you what you did today, and you say, “Oh, I dropped off a dead badger, then I went on the doctors.”

A truly odd note about roadkills in the rural US. Reportedly, scavenging of roadkills by rural humans is such a significant problem that state governments have made it illegal!

Especially in the South, if a deer gets roadkilled, the good ole boys tend to get right on it, grab a pickup, drive to the deer, wait for traffic to die down, and throw the deer in the back of the pickup! Then they take it home, dress it, cook it up, and eat it. It’s considered “free food”. You need to live out in the woods to understand the mindset.

A friend told me a story about an elderly woman somewhere in the rural US who lived beside a highway that saw a lot of roadkills. She scavenged them right away, and was able to supplement her diet quite well. Yum yum! You never know if stories like that are urban legends or not, though.

A little known fact about badgers is that they are fantastic dancers. I kid you not! Here is some rare footage of dancing badgers in their native habitat (slow-loading file). Enjoy!

4 Comments

Filed under Animals, California, Carnivores, Felids, Mammals, Mustelids, Omnivores, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, USA, West, Wild

Mountain Lion Killed in Santa Monica Shopping Mall

Mountain Lion cowering in a Santa Monica shopping mall.

This young male cougar was found at 6 AM in a shopping mall in downtown Santa Monica by a groundskeeper showing up for work. He left work quickly (probably very quickly!) and called police. A team arrived and tried various methods of subduing the animal, including tranquilization, all of which failed. The animal was then shot to death.

It is not known how the cougar made its way to downtown Santa Monica, but the Santa Monica Mountains are only 2 miles away from this location. Researchers are tracking 22 mountain lions that live in the Santa Monica Mountains.

I have been to these mountains before, and they are not all that wild. If I’m not mistaken, the Hollywood Hills are part of this range.

Most mountain lions that show up in cities are young males for whatever reason. But young male lions do tend to be wanderers and dispersers more as they often have not carved out their own home range yet.

The danger of this animals is much exaggerated, but I would not want to be near one of them. I’ve spent most of my life hiking in the wilds, mostly in California but also in Utah, Washington State and British Columbia. Recently, I always carry a large stick with me wherever I go in the mountains. This stick is to be used if I ever run into a mountain lion or maybe even a bear. In all my time hiking in the woods, I’ve never seen a single bear either.

My mother recently saw what I believe was a mountain lion in Oakhurst, California. She was up north of town early in the morning picking up a friend of hers and something ran across the road very fast, so fast it was very hard to figure out exactly what it was. My Mom was puzzled and asked me what it could have been. She said it was as “big as a German shepherd” but it had a huge tail that went all the way back up over its head from the rear.

I figured it had to be a lion because there is nothing that big and that fast in the woods. In addition, lions often carry their tails back up over their bodies like that when they run.

It went across the road fast as a streak and then simply “disappeared” into some very thick brush and woods.

I’m familiar with this location as I saw a bobcat running across the road at dusk there once. These creatures are also extremely fast when you see them running across the road, and the way they run, you think it is a rabbit. I remember once my Mom called me up on the phone at 9:30 PM at nite in Oakhurst and asked me, “Bob, do rabbits eat cat food?” She said a “rabbit” had come up on the porch and was eating cat food. She went out to pick up the food and the thing ran away fast as a streak.

I had seen bobcats running fast before, and I thought it was a rabbit. This is apparently due to the way they use their legs in running in which one set of legs seems to overlap with the other set. I.e. the front legs seem to go all the way to the back and the back legs seem to go all the way to the front.

I figured it was a mountain lion because they were almost no rabbits in that area, rabbits don’t eat cat food, jackrabbits are typically not out at nighttime, and rabbits don’t run as fast bobcats. With a running rabbit, you will see it run away. With a bobcat, it’s just a flash. It’s interesting that bobcats will eat cat food!

At the same house, my Mom’s neighbor had ducks and geese in a pen. The neighbor woke up one morning at the crack of dawn and all of the geese and ducks were dead and a bobcat was fast asleep in the pen. The bobcat had come in the night and had gone on a killing frenzy on all of the penned up birds. He never intended to eat all of those birds. Predators will sometimes go on a killing frenzy if they are with a lot of easy targets.

The bobcat woke up quickly and was gone in a streak.

3 Comments

Filed under Animals, California, Carnivores, Felids, Lions, Mammals, North America, Regional, USA, West, Wild

Is the Eastern Cougar Extinct?

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently decided that the Eastern Cougar is indeed extinct. This was a very controversial decision, as folks have been seeing mountain lions back east for some decades now, mostly in Appalachia, but also in New York and Maine. In fact, one was roadkilled in Maine in 1994. If you see one and tell your local state Fish and Game, they always tell you that they don’t exist here.

So what’s with all the sightings? I don’t believe that these are all hallucinations or misidentifications. People are definitely seeing real mountain lions back east for decades now.

However, intensive studies to look for them back East have found nothing, except in Wisconsin and Michigan.

These findings have been critiqued. The challenge to the Michigan findings was apparently on the basis that since mountain lions don’t exist in Michigan, having gone extinct, the team could not possibly be finding any. The “impossible” argument. This is what “science” has come to these days. Not so much skepticism and outright denialism. But denialism is no more scientific than pseudoscience that believes any nutty theory that comes down the pike.

The Michigan findings were strengthened by the fact that the Michigan samples’ DNA resembled DNA from fossilized mountain lions found in Michigan. In other words, Eastern cougars never went extinct in Michigan, nor did they in Manitoba. They probably never went extinct in Wisconsin either. However, they did probably go extinct everywhere else in the East other than in Florida, where the Florida Panther barely holds on.

However, recent DNA analysis shows that none of the 15 subspecies of mountain lions in the Americas north of Costa Rica are valid subspecies. All have been collapsed into a single subspecies, the North American mountain lion. So, not only is the Eastern cougar extinct, but it never existed in the first place.

So what are folks seeing? I think they are probably seeing escaped pets that have gone back to the wild, are breeding and are hunting game. Escaped pet mountain lions begin killing very quickly in the wild, and they are able to mate and live long lives there. The population on New Brunswick is apparently wholly made up of escaped captive mountain lions and their descendants.

Credible tracks have been found and cast back East for a couple of decades now. Clearly the cats are out there.

Politics comes into play here. The mountain lion lovers say the extinct decision was politics in favor of land developers and timber interests. On the other side are environmentalists who probably want the Eastern cougar to exist in part to block extensive development of rural land back East.

USFWS document is here. It’s correct, except they never went extinct in Michigan and Wisconsin. But with the new genetic lumping, there never was an Eastern cougar in the first place.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, Animals, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Felids, Government, Mammals, Michigan, Midwest, North America, Politics, Regional, US Politics, USA, Wild, Wildlife

Mountain Lion Killed at Gourmet Ghetto

An eccentric hippie mountain lion descended from the Oakland Hills to the Gourmet Ghetto District of Berkeley, California, looking for some bong hits, tie dye lion shits and mostly a bite to eat. Human killjoys saw her in the human populated area, tracked her to a yard, and shot the bitch dead.

Unfortunately, these lions need to be killed, but, honestly, they really are no danger. A cornered lion like that won’t attack a human unless you charge at it when it’s cornered. All it will do is run away. There could have been 500 humans roaming around watching the lion, cheering for it or cheering the humans (May the best team win!), and no humans one would have been hurt by the lion.

I know a lot about mountain lions, but I’ve never seen one. My friends and relatives have. In the Sierra foothills, they live around you all the time, yet you never see one. It’s amazing since it’s such a huge animal. A mountain lion is not a natural man-killer, and it’s not all that smart. It’s a creature of instinct. It attacks:

  1. Little kids, like toddlers, in wild areas.
  2. Adults who are running or jogging in wild areas.
  3. Adults who are riding mountain bikes in wild areas.

Lions are not that smart. It’s not a whole lot smarter than your housecat, and housecats are pretty stupid. Mostly, they are creatures of instinct like Kitty. In general, a lion will not attack you because it is not programmed to.

Toddlers are attacked because they are the size of much of its small prey.

Adult humans running or riding bikes in the wild are attacked, because when you run or ride in the wilderness, you look like a deer! A deer running away, to be specific. It sees you running or riding, thinks, “Running deer!” and attacks.

Lions are not deep thinkers. Look, see, act. As long as you are not a kid or running or riding in the woods, you’re ok.

Just to be safe, I used to carry a huge stick with me when hiking. If you get charged by a lion, just attack the fucker with the stick. If it holds its ground, scream at it and charge it, waving your arms and yelling. If you have the stick, swing at it with a stick. Super Pussy is still a pussy at heart. When attacked by humans, it runs away, like all pussies do when attacked by badass humans.

2 Comments

Filed under Americas, Animals, California, Carnivores, Felids, Lions, Mammals, North America, Regional, USA, West, Wild

Some Observations on Felines and Canids

Repost from the old site.

I’ve been having some conversations lately with some of my smart friends about felines and canids, and here is some what we think we have worked out.

First of all, a cat is supposedly as smart as a 1½ year old human. As a human, albeit a human who is also a cat-lover, I find such a comparison insulting. I just spent some time with my 1½ year old niece. No way on Earth is my cat as stupid as that kid was.

I’m spending some time as a caretaker for my 86 year old father who lives 33 miles away. My folks have two cats and recently acquired another one. This one is a Siamese named Cleo. When I met this cat, very quickly, I thought it was one of the smartest cats I have ever known. I don’t know why, but someone said that Siamese are an intelligent breed.

The other night, one of other cats, Callie, got the night-crazies and took off running across the house for no reason. Cleo saw this and immediately chased her for equally no good reason. I immediately began to reassess my opinion of her as the smartest cat I’ve ever known. I asked around about this.

Turns out that in general, if a cat sees another cat take off running for any reason, the observer cat will often give chase. Why? Possibly instinct. They seem to be programmed to chase after any non-predatory moving object.

Many prey animals, like the rabbits who live around here, practice freezing as a form of predator avoidance. On the principle that predators generally hunt by following rapid movement rather than attacking stationary objects. The rabbits around here will freeze and let you walk right up next to them before they take off running.

There have been some mountain lion attacks here in the West recently. Attacks have, in general, been on little kids or on adults either jogging or riding bicycles.

Reason? A little kid is about the size of many of the mountain lions more slow-moving prey objects. An adult human really is not, except if it is running or riding a bicycle fast, in which case apparently it is about the size and speed of a deer, one of the lion’s favorite prey animals.

As long as you are strolling along in the woods, the cougar usually won’t bother you. But start jogging, and you turn into a human deer and you might just get nailed.

Observations of wild cats have shown that wild domestic cats make few sounds except when fighting or mating. Why do cats meow? Probably because we make sounds, and their meows are their way of trying to speak human language back at us.

Cats are generally solitary, and the cat adaptive style is to hide. If you notice, your cat at home likes to hide in really weird and hard to find places. Often a place where it can see out but you can’t see in. They will do this whether they are threatened by other cats or by dogs or not.

The reason cats hide? Probably instinct. The cat style is to hide and only come out at night. Wild felines such as bobcats and mountain lions hide much of the time and are mostly nocturnal.

This is also why cats bury their shit. They are probably not naturally fastidious, but instead, I suspect that they do this to cover up their trails from predators. This is also why they roll around in the dirt. They are covering themselves with dirt to hide their scent from predators.

On the other hand, the dog has a different adaptive style. Does a dog ever hide? What for? A dog is always walking around, right out in the open, afraid of nothing. With wild dogs it’s pretty similar. Coyotes and wolves are active all hours of the day and tend to roam around in plain sight. Foxes do hide, but they are pretty small, and they also spend time hunting in broad daylight (I’ve watched them).

Cats are generally solitary (although lions are an exception), and dogs are pack animals. Cats hide because they are solitary, and dogs walk around in plain sight because they are instinctively pack animals with little to hide. Wolves, jackals and hyenas travel in packs. If something wants to kill a hyena (and a lion might), it would have to deal with a whole pack of howling hyenas that would come to the defense of the hunted one.

Hunting in packs is also a strength. A pack of hyenas could possibly even kill a lion, and I suspect that they do sometimes.

Since dogs are pack animals and find strength in numbers, they don’t give a damn about burying their shit or rolling around in the dirt. There is no need to cover one’s tracks when one has strength in numbers.

One of my friends insisted that canids and felines are closely related, and that both go back to some ancestral canid-feline duoform. Raccoons and bears are related to dogs, but they supposedly split off from proto-dog after the split from proto-dogcat. I don’t know enough to comment on this, as I’ve never heard of dogs and cats going back to a feline-canid ancestor.

2 Comments

Filed under Animals, Canids, Cats, Felids, Reposts From The Old Site

아프리카에서 사자에게 잡아먹힌 남자

I am looking for translators to translate this post into Spanish and German. Email me if you are interested.

This is a Korean translation of the Man Gets Eaten By Lion in Africa post. The translator is 넝근넝근. He does fantastic work.

대부분의 사람들은 이 비디오가 가짜라고 주장한다, 사실 그 주장은 사실이다.

이 비디오가 1970년대 중반 아프리카 사파리에서 촬영된 유명한 비디오이며 저 관광객은 런던에서 온것 처럼 보인다. 또 이 비디오가 법정의 증거로서 보험회사가 저 남자의 생명보험을 거부할 증거로 이 비디오자료를 사용하곤 했으며 보험회사는 저 남자가 “자기 무덤 판 꼴” 이라며 보험료 지불을 거부하겠다라고 주장한 증거자료가 바로 이 비디오라는 이야기이다.

사실, 이 비디오와 저 이야기는 사실이 아니다. 저 사고가 70년대 후반 앙골라의 Wallasee National Park에서 일어났다고 한다. 저런 장소는 앙골라다 아프리카 어디에도 없다.

“공격의 희생자”는 Pit Dernitz로 이 비디오에 관한 IMDB에 이름이 나와있다. 그는 유명한 사자 조련사이다.

이 영상은 Ultime Grida Dalla Savana라는 이런 비슷한 종류의 영상물이 포함된 이탈리아 몬도 영화의 한장면이다.

결국 이 영상은 어떤 법정 어디에도 등장하지 않았다.

3 Comments

Filed under Accidents, Africa, Animals, Carnivores, East Africa, Felids, Gross, Korean, Lions, Mammals, Regional, Sick, Translations, Wild, Wildlife