July 14, 2008

"Tracker hunts Palo Alto mountain lion after attack"

From SF Gate:
An animal tracker hired by city officials was heading into Foothills Park in Palo Alto tonight to hunt down and kill a mountain lion that attacked a man over the weekend, authorities said.

Foothills Park and the adjacent Pearson-Arastradero Preserve were closed today after officials learned of the incident, the first known mountain lion attack in Palo Alto, said Palo Alto Police Agent Dan Ryan.

The 50-year-old hiker was uninjured but narrowly escaped with his life after the cat leaped onto him from behind about 4 p.m. Saturday, sending man and beast tumbling down an embankment, Ryan said.
Read the rest here. Gah, my sis runs and hikes in that neck of the woods...

[Although children have been attacked by mountain lions in California, IIRC only adults have been killed.]


Anonymous said...

There was a follow-up article in the Chronicle this morning. The hunters could find no sign of a cougar anywhere in the vicinity. The alleged victim and his clothes showed no sign of what he described as attack. The plot thickens.

Luisa said...

Thickens, indeed. No mountain lion DNA, and the dogs didn't pick up on anything -- Moe, was that you?

Anonymous said...

Eons ago I spent a summer working in a fly camp in the Alaskan bush. A friend gave me a 9mm semiautomatic to carry 'for defense'. When one of the macho men in camp asked me what I was going to do with that little sissy gun if a grizzly attacked, I looked over at my macho guy field partner and replied "Shoot Dave in the knee - and run."

FWIW, the only critter I had occasion to pull the gun on that summer was a drunken two legger who attempted an uninvited midnight entry to my tent. The sound it made when I clicked off the safety sent it scurrying off into the night.

Luisa said...

#1 rule for grizzly country: always hike with a partner you can outrun. The ginormous cojones award of the year belongs to that guy who found the grizzly attack victim in the middle of the night and stayed with her until EMTs and Forest Service personnel arrived. I'm afraid I would have called over my shoulder, "I'll go get help!" while pedaling outta there like a speeding bullet.

His name's Peter Basinger, by the way. Dude, you're good people.