An email from a neighbor

We got this email from a neighbor – a neighbor that lives at least a mile away, though – yesterday and I am both horrified and thrilled.

We had a mountain lion kill a deer on our back porch, and it almost broke our sliding glass window.

(See the photograph below.)

It was very early in the morning, around 4-5am. The deer appears (footprints) to have gone to the watering hole. The mountain lion appears to have been in stalking mode on the stairs. It attacked the deer as it was moving along the back porch to the hillside.

The lion slammed the deer against the back slidingdoor, almost breaking it, then started eating a few feet away.It feasted in one abdominal, and butt area, without biting the neck or adding other wounds; it discarded the stomach and some green organs. My turning on the lights and shouting at it frightened it away. I dragged the carcass;300 feet to the eucalyptus tree line.

Upon returning 30 minutes later, I discovered something had been eating the bowels that fell out of the carcass, including the liver and possibly the heart. It could have been a cat, but also the mountain lion since Animal Control advised that it may still be in the vicinity. It may be feasting on the carcass right now.

Blue jays are squawking because lots of red-tailed hawks are swooping in for a feast on the kill. We can expect a lot of carnivore predators out tonight; bobcat, coyotes, mountain lion, etc.… I’ve called the neighbors to advise keeping their dogs indoors tonight.

I’d seen a mountain lion once at or near the house, and it was not very afraid of me when I cornered it next to a big bush/rock. It moved away, but not really fast, when I jumped and yelled. I have many photographs of bobcats which did not do this sort of damage. Also photos of coyotes which hunt in packs and bite the neck of the prey, dragging it down.

Animal Control may put out an alert for Portola Valley, suggested I keep a shotgun in the house, in case they break through the window the next time. We have a lot of windows around the porch, from which I have photographed a lot of bobcats, boars, and deer, but never a kill.

Portola Valley awaits you… with a carnivorous hummmmm……


Horrified because the whole thing seems much more violent that I thought it would be – not that I had thought about it very much – and I can now easily imagine a writhing deer/mountain lion combination breaking through our back door and rolling around the livingroom.  All I have is a 16" ruler to fend them off. Thrilled because the email came through the PV Garden Club which now seems much cooler; the writer seems so nonchalant, and thrilled because  we live in a town where they aren't scrambling helicopters and SWAT teams over this.


3 thoughts on “An email from a neighbor

  1. All you have is a ruler?! Not even a scale?
    That’s pretty intense but I agree with your assessment of the neighbor. This is a much different Garden Club than the one C’s mom belongs to in Louisiana!

  2. Wow, that’s a part of the food cycle we don’t experience very often.
    I think you commented on one of our posts that the Vietnamese seems to be closer to their food than we are in the US. They definitely are and if I were a mountain lion, I’m sure I’d find it more appealing.

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