Mountain Lion - The Ultimate Predator
I've never been lucky enough to observe a mountain lion in the wild but they're rarely glimpsed by anyone. Mountain lions are extremely reclusive being most active between dusk and dawn. The big cats live a solitary life, prowling from rocky ridges to deep canyons always fiercely protective of their precious territory.
This ultimate predator will wait patiently in a ponderosa pine tree then leap onto the shoulders of a mule deer and bite deep into the back of its neck near the base of the skull. The carcass is usually cached and the cat comes back to feed later. There are only two animals in our area that I truly fear, a bull elk during the rut and a mountain lion.
Hungry young lions, unable to secure their own territories, have become bolder around people and are taking more risks. Recently near here, a brazen mountain lion actually crept inside a home while its occupants slept and snatched the pet dog. Attacks on humans are extremely rare but small children, solitary hikers and joggers are the most vulnerable. As urban sprawl continues to invade the foothills, I'm afraid encounters with mountains lions will probably become more frequent.