October 18, 2005

Omaha mountain lion sighting update

Reposted due to continued sightings of mountain lions in the Omaha area.

Big Mountain Lion
The Plains Feeder had a comment today on a tongue-in-cheek post I made about a week ago, Rewilding Nebraska: Mountain Lions that deserves a post of it's own. Here is part of the comment from Michele Shonka:
Hi, I don't know if you read the article about a Papillion woman seeing a mountain lion , if you did that was me. I have 4 children , ages 1,2 ,7 & 13. After seeing that mountain lion I am freaked out. It scares me to have my kids play in the back yard.
You may read the rest of Michelle's comment here, but you really should see her own extensive blog entry, A mountain lion in my back yard!!! What a story. I don't think Michelle and her neighbor are making this up. And it isn't like she is some citified lady , unfamiliar with wildlife. She sees animals around her house all the time. She insists there is, " NO WAY A huge cat, like the one I saw, could be mistaken for a fox or coyote. AND a mountain lion has a long tail, which I saw, not a short tail like a bobcat."

Michelle is quite reasonably afraid for her kids. She has tried to raise the alarm, only to have her mountain lion sighting more or less poo-pooed by the authorities. Along with all the other big cat sightings she enumerates in her blog. She says, "[t]he local humane society seem to think people are seeing a fox or a coyote. I know what I saw..it was a cat."

Update: Michelle has been adding more sightings here in the comments. Today, Tuesday 10/18/05 , she added this link to another sighting. Alongside the story, the World Herald posts a lengthy list of things to remember when confronted by a mountain lion.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offers these tips if you come across a mountain lion: Do not approach the animal; Leave the animal an avenue of escape. Stay calm, move slowly. Back away safely if you can. Do not turn your back to the lion or start running. Raise your arms or backpack to appear larger. Lift up your children to prevent them from running. If you are being attacked, fight back. Use rocks or whatever you can get your hands on. Try to remain on your feet or get back up if knocked down.
Sounds like a lot of "tips" to me. Maybe you should drill your family in this. Or follow the Plains Feeder's EZ 4 step system: Get a gun big enough to stop a mountain lion. Learn to handle it safely and shoot it accurately. Carry it with you when venturing into Omaha lion country. Dispatch any mountain lions you see by shooting. Simple and effective.
Thanks to Michelle at ~♥~My Kids, My Life, My Story~♥~

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