Monday, September 22, 2008

Reno, Living Desert mountain lion 092208

Did you know the Living Desert had two mountain lions on exhibit for several years? Reno was the male mountain lion. I believe he was hand raised by a family until he got too big. And, BOY, did he get BIG! Just look at those paws! His enclosure was shared by a female mountain lion and sometimes they had their "spats". At one point, he bit her on the tail and she had an owie for a while. As you know, mountain lions are solitary animals, and while they would occasionally play together in the water, for the most part, they kept their distance from each other and glared across their enclosure.

Reno died last year. He lived for about 19 years and I believe he was the longest living mountain lion in captivity. I took some photos this afternoon of the remaining mountain lion and I'll post them tomorrow. There are mountain lions in our mountains above our desert. I've never seen one, but some friends up in Garner Valley told us a lion went after their goats one night. Hikers do NOT hike alone on trails in our mountains. I was foolish to do that ONCE and I was warned to either join a group of hikers or go back to my car! I went back to my car and I no longer hike alone! Only a few miles away, in Orange County, hikers HAVE been attacked AND killed by mountain lions. They are there. We just don't notice or hear them. Their paws make them deadly and silent killers. I wanted to post these photos to remember Reno. He was a beautiful mountain lion. If you click on the photos, you can see them in a large format.


Jeannelle said...

Fascinating! He looks almost docile, though I'm sure he's not! We have baby kitties right now....quite a contrast!

Cheryl said...

Believe me, mountain lions are a cat to respect. Hubby and I were out hiking on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona our last morning there several years ago. We ONLY had our cameras with us. After a while, his face turned white and he grabbed my arm and said, "Don't move...SOMETHING is watching us!" He said the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. It HAD to be a mountain lion. We turned and walked out, but I trusted his instincts since he grew up in Pennsylvania, in the forests there, and often went out with his grandfather. Mountain lions have attacked and killed joggers not more than 40 miles away from where the ranch is!