Cougar Puma or Mountain Lion Attacks Are Likely Discarded Pets

Cougar Puma or Mountain Lion Attacks Are Likely Discarded Pets

Cougar Puma or Mountain Lion Attacks Are Likely Discarded Pets

Cougar Puma or Mountain Lion Attacks Are Likely Discarded Pets



“I don’t think that attack was by a wild-reared puma at all.


I think that puma was a dumped former pet, or a puma bred from a mother kept to produce urine to be sold as “puma lure” to be sold to houndsmen, or perhaps even a puma who was “returned to the wild” by a financially struggling sanctuary, of which there have been many in Texas in recent years.


First, take another look at what was reported, to refresh your memory:”




Mountain Lion Attacks Boy in Texas Park



A 6-year-old boy is recovering after a mountain lion “clamped” on to his face at Big Bend National Park in Texas.


Jason Hobbs said his family’s vacation became a nightmare when the big cat attacked his son Rivers on a sidewalk Sunday near the Chisos Mountain Lodge.


“It had a hold of his face…the cat was clamped on his face,” Hobbs told West Texas TV station CBS 7.


The Austin dad said the mountain lion didn’t let go until he stabbed it with his pocketknife.


Rivers Hobbs told CBS 7 the mountain lion “snuck up on me.”


Despite being shown on TV with fresh stiches across his gashed face, Rivers claimed he never shed a tear before or after the encounter.


Asked about his injuries, Rivers said they did not hurt “that bad.”


Big Ben spokesman David Elkowitz described the mountain lion that attacked the 6-year-old as a “young lion in very poor condition,” The Associated Press reported.



Posted: 02/07/2012 4:17 PM


Why This Was Probably Not a Wild Puma


Assuming that every word reported is entirely accurate, and I see no reason to suspect otherwise, what’s wrong with this picture?


First sentence: instead of tearing the victim’s throat out, the puma clamped onto the child’s face. This is a puma who does not have the faintest idea how to effect a kill.


Second sentence: the puma attacked on a sidewalk near a lodge — clearly within human habitation, not a place where a puma would normally hunt or even find prey.


Fourth sentence: a man with just one jackknife was able to fend off a puma, who in effect has five jackknives on each paw, plus teeth. This is a puma who not only does not know how to hunt, but does not know how to fight.


Most pumas learn how to fight as kittens. As adults, the leading killers of pumas, other than human hunters, are other pumas. Pumas tolerate pumas of opposite gender in their habitat only during mating season. Otherwise, puma meeting puma in the wild often results in a fight to the death. A young male puma who does not know how to fight is unlikely to survive for any length of time at all, especially in an area containing as many pumas as Big Bend National Park.


Last sentence: we are talking about a “young lion in very poor condition.” That can happen, if a mother abandons her last year’s offspring & goes off to mate again before the cub has learned to hunt and fight. But that leaves open the question of what the mother and cub were doing throughout the preceding summer, fall, and winter. Truly wild pumas learn to hunt. Young male pumas who are the offspring of pumas raised in connection with urine collection don’t — but they are dumped, while their sisters are kept to produce more urine in captivity.


Hardly anyone recognizes this, but there are two major “wild” puma populations in North America. One is the fully wild population. They rarely get into trouble with people, and when they do, it is in quite remote habitat.


Truly wild pumas have a very stereotyped and distinctive method of killing: virtually always from above, behind, at dawn; less often, at dusk. They break the victim’s neck immediately, at first pounce. That’s because they are usually hunting deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, and other animals (sheep, wild horses, wild burros, occasionally cattle) who most often outweigh them and/or can outrun them. If they don’t kill almost instantly, the victim either gets away or may kill/cripple the puma.


Of recent human victims (within the past 20 years), Barbara Schoner of California, Scott Lancaster of Colorado, and Irene Davis of California were all clearly victims of authentic wild pumas. They all were in known puma habitat alone, at dawn, and passed under ledges where they were pounced. It isn’t likely that any of them ever knew what hit them.


The other puma population is the really dangerous one. It consists of pumas who were either bred in captivity or captured as kittens, held until they got too big to handle, and then were dumped by the same class of folks who dump pit bulls, unneutered housecats, etc.


There are thousands of pumas in private captivity around the U.S., every sanctuary that accepts them has a long waiting list for space, and a lot of the people who have them are not exactly good citizens. Before the pit bull vogue, pumas were popular, among drug dealers, bike gang members, militia folks, and people who home-brew “lure” for hunting packs, as described above.


There are far fewer pumas in private hands now than there were before the passage of the 2003 Captive Wildlife Safety Act cut off legal interstate sales, but private possession is still a problem — probably more so in Texas than anywhere else.


When captive pumas are dumped or just escape, they don’t know how to hunt. They come up on people’s porches and knock on the glass like tabbies, hoping to be fed. They ineptly pounce little kids on their swing-sets, who live to tell the tale. They play with balls in back yards. They walk in open doors and flop down on the couch. They eat dogs and cats in yards. They walk down busy streets in broad daylight. They don’t know whether they are coming or going, and in the 33 years that I have tracked puma incidents, they have accounted for about two-thirds of all the puma incidents that make news.


Sometimes probable former captive pumas kill a person–like Cindy Parolin, in British Columbia in 1996. That was an extremely sad and tragic case. Someone apparently dumped a whole puma family. The two kittens were shot. The male, on the verge of starving to death, killed Parolin in one of the most inept attacks on record. What became of the female is anyone’s guess. She may have been kept for urine.


The male, by the way, was starving right in the midst of abundant rabbits and deer. He just didn’t know how to catch them. Instead, he tried to pull the riding boot off of Parolin’s six-year-old son, as the family rode past on horseback. Parolin leaped from the saddle on top of the puma, trying to save the boy, and suffered injuries from which she eventually bled to death, while the hungry puma, having ceased the attack, just sat down beside her. That’s where he was shot, an hour later. The puma did not even try to eat Parolin: he didn’t know she might be food. The boy’s riding boot, however, apparently smelled to the puma like food from a bag.


People coming face-to-face with such a screwed-up puma usually have little choice but to shoot the critter, if they can, because the puma can in fact kill them, or their children, and recapturing a puma isn ot particularly easy even with tranquilizer guns and nets.


People often make a big mistake, however, in blaming the abundance of screwed-up ex-captives around big cities, and in national parks etc. where they get dumped, on an alleged overpopulation of genuinely wild pumas who have purportedly “lost their fear” of people. It’s the ex-captives who have lost their fear. And they’re the ones I really worry about.


This is not the first such incident in Big Bend National Park. In 1998 a puma approached a mother and three children in Big Bend National Park in an incident very similar to the one this week. Everything about the 1998 puma’s behavior, as described by media accounts, said “big kitty approaching people looking for a handout.”


Then the mother pulled a jackknife on the puma and rushed him. He scooted–just like a housecat being shooed from a counter.


Apart from the absurdity of a genuinely wild puma being afraid of a jackknife, especially since he had no way of knowing what it was, it bears mention that this guy had the advantage of being above and behind when he first approached, but gave up his opportunity to make a stealthy kill in favor of coming down to sniff the group.


I don’t blame the mother. Like Cindy Parolin, she did what any good mother will, defending her young. Then she of course told the story as she saw it and remembered it. I do blame some people who amplified the case without looking further into why the puma behaved as he did, and the real reason why the mother and children survived without injury.


I can also recall a couple of recent campground puma cases, where there were several pumas in each instance, apparently hanging out together–like a litter of kittens, only they were no longer kittens.


In each case, that’s probably where someone pushed them out of the back of a van. Wild pumas just don’t behave like that, and certainly wouldn’t be hanging around a park latrine for days on end, as occurred in one case


The attraction of the park latrine was most likely that it smelled like the spare bathroom where the litter probably spent their younger days.


What annoys me is that I suspect some houndsmen may dump “surplus” tom kittens whose mothers & sisters are kept for urine,  & then get paid to go track & shoot the very pumas they dumped.  And then they will cite these cases as part of their argument for keeping hounding legal,  or re-legalizing it in the states (like Washington) where it has been banned.


Cougar Yawns

Cougar Yawns


Merritt Clifton


P.O. Box 960

Clinton, WA 98236


Telephone: 360-579-2505

Cell: 360-969-0450

Fax: 360-579-2575




Carole’s Note:  This was reprinted with permission because Mr. Clifton is the first person that I have heard clearly argue the obvious.  We had been reporting that we thought that most of the attacks attributed to wild cougars, mountain lions or pumas (all the same) were really released pets and devoted a page of our website to it in 2006 called Why So Many Cougar Attacks and Sightings?  Merritt Clifton just said it a lot better than I did and with his typical sense of irony.  What I had not considered before, and was eye opening to me, was the notion that the females may be used for producing urine for “hunters” to lure male cougars into shooting range.  As awful as most captive cougar pet situations are, I can only shudder at the conditions that must exist for these poor creatures as Clifton describes the way they are housed as follows:


Foxes and bobcats kept for urine collection are often kept on wire floors,  but pumas could tear right through wire.

Pumas kept for urine collection are usually kept in concrete-floored structures the size of dog pound run,  with chain link sides and top.  The floors are tiled just enough for the urine to run off into gutters that drain out to collection points a safe distance from the cages.  The usual routine is to collect the piss first,  then hose out the excrement.


Help end the suffering by visiting and ask for laws that prohibit the keeping of wild animals in cages.



Send Talking Pet Cards Using Your Pet


LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPT. 6, 2011 – Throughout the ages pet owners have mused at what their beloved pets might say if they could speak.  Thanks to an emerging web-based greeting card company officially launching today, Pet-a-Greeting is putting the power of animated speech into pet owners’ hands.  The site allows members to create personalized greetings that feature their talking pet and then distribute them via email, Facebook and Twitter.
Pet-a-Greeting is the first-ever site that allows members to upload a photo of their dog, cat or other pet, or use the library of pet photos, and create a customized talking message to share.
“We’re taking the e-greeting card experience to a whole other level,” said Gregory Baker, co-founder of Pet-a-Greeting.  “We developed Pet-a-Greeting because we love our animal friends and we want people to be able to share a unique experience with their friends and families, while giving a voice to those that typically don’t have one.”
Pet-a-Greeting offers a 10-day free trial, where members can send unlimited personal greeting cards for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or just for fun.  Pet-a-Greeting is an affordable, easy way to spread some love and include your pet as you share life’s joys with friends and family.
Sending a Pet-a-Greeting is a simple process.  Visit and sign-up today.  Once registered, you can:
–          Upload a photo of your pet, or use the library of pet photos, and type a personalized message
–          Move and adjust the mouth to make it perfect for your pet and message
–          Choose from a variety of distinct voices or use Type and Talk to create your own personalized voice message
–          Share your greeting card via email, Facebook or Twitter
Annual Pet-a-Greeting membership to send unlimited cards is $9.95, and a two-year membership is $14.95.  Pet-a-Greeting has a strong commitment to helping the community through their generous support of animal welfare organizations both locally and nationally.  By becoming a member and sending Pet-a-Greetings, you are supporting the welfare of companion animals.
“I finally get to share all my joy and excitement with the world through Pet-a-Greeting,” said Gracie, the official spokespet for Pet-a-Greeting.  “I’m always travelling, going to the dog park and hanging out with my family, and I love to let everyone know what I’m up to by sending Pet-a-Greetings.”
For more information and/or to become a Pet-a-Greeting member, visit  Be sure to also check out Pet-a-Greeting on Facebook and Twitter.

Fundraiser for Domestic Cat on Jan 13 2012

Dear Friend of ABC,
We’re hoping you can join us for refreshments at this fundraiser. If you can’t join us, please consider making a donation for Bruno on Tampa Cat Crusaders website. Please get this information out to as many people as possible.  The goal is to raise $1500.00 to cover the last surgery performed on 1/3/12, and we need all the help we can get.  Thank you for all you do!!!!
ABC Volunteers and Tampa Cat Crusaders


Animal Based Charities Thrift Store
4340 S. Manhattan Ave.
Tampa, Florida 33611
Friday, January 13, 2012
Bruno, pictured above, was discovered living in a makeshift colony of unaltered cats in Temple Terrace. He was immediately noticed by a kind volunteer because he was incredibly skinny and was walking with a very bad limp. At his first trip to the vet, it was learned that Bruno’s leg was shattered in multiple places and being that he had been left to fend for himself, his leg had been like that for some time and was beyond repair so had to be amputated.   Poor Bruno was so weak, he suffered multiple set-backs from the surgery and had a much longer recovery time. The great news was that he was in the home of the kind volunteer getting good quality food and slowly gaining weight. She paid his vet bills herself.

Less than a year ago, our 3-legged friend Bruno started having urinary problems and after being on meds, and back and forth with the vets, it was discovered that he wasblocked and had his first catherization, which might have poked a hole in his urethra. Within 2 weeks, he was blocked again and had to have emergency Perineal Urethrostomy surgery. That is emergency surgery on his penis, which no one, man or animal would ever want to go through. The surgery worked for a while, and again, the kind volunteer paid for his expenses herself, but it seems it wasn’t done correctly, and last weekend, Bruno was blocked again.

After two consults, Bruno underwent his second emergency Perineal Urethrostomy surgery to repair the damage that was done. In other words, the hero of this story has just had his second urological surgery to save his life. The vet bills are staggering, the last surgery alone was $1500 and that was at a deep discount for Cat Crusaders.

Please join us at our fundraiser to help offset the vet bills as Bruno is truly the unluckiest Lucky cat we know, and hopefully will live a healthy surgery-free life.
Look what a little love and kindness can do!
Tiger and Leopard Parts Seized in Operation Cyberwild

Tiger and Leopard Parts Seized in Operation Cyberwild

Operation Cyberwild Leads to Dozen Criminal Cases

Alleging Illegal Sale of Endangered Species through Internet Sites


Leopard Coat Illegally For Sale Online

LOS ANGELES – Federal and state authorities have filed criminal cases against a dozen people who allegedly used Internet sites to illegally sell endangered species and other wildlife protected by federal and state law, including fish, birds and exotic animal pelts.


The charges are the result of Operation Cyberwild, a task force investigation conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), which received substantial assistance from volunteers with the Humane Society of United States.


Operation Cyberwild was announced this morning following the arrest of a Las Vegas man who is charged with selling boots made out of threatened sea turtles.


During Operation Cyberwild, federal agents and state game wardens recovered live endangered fish, protected migratory birds, an elephant foot, and pelts from a tiger, a polar bear, a leopard and a bear.


During the investigation, which began in July 2011, special agents with FWS and game wardens with CDFG focused on Internet advertisements placed by sellers in Southern California and Southern Nevada. As a result of Operation Cyberwild, the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles filed charges against nine defendants, and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged three defendants.


“We made our first undercover purchase within 24 hours of beginning the operation,” said Erin Dean, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Torrance. “We hope that this operation will send a message to individuals selling – or even considering selling – protected wildlife that we are watching and that we take these offenses seriously.”


The 12 defendants charged in federal and state court each allegedly offered for sale animals or animal parts. The defendants are variously charged with violating the federal Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Lacey Act and various state wildlife laws.


“Our ecosystem is complex and precious. Unfortunately, this delicate system continues to face serious threats, including poaching, the introduction of non-native species and the illegal sale of endangered species,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.


“The sale of endangered animals on the Internet has reached an alarming level, with as much as two-thirds of such sales taking place in the United States.

These Internet sales of wildlife fuel poaching and make the killing of protected animals more profitable.

Today’s prosecutions are a response to this alarming trend.”


The United States Attorney’s Office yesterday filed nine cases in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The defendants charged in federal court are:


George Lovell, 49, of Las Vegas, who allegedly sold a pair of Loggerhead sea turtle leather boots for $1,000 after offering them for sale on Craigslist. Lovell was arrested this morning and is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in federal court in Las Vegas. See:


Tiger Rug Sold Illegally Online


Lisa Naumu, 49, of San Diego, who allegedly sold an $8,000 leopard skin coat after placing an ad on Craigslist that offered three of such coats for sale. See:


Victor Northrop, 48, of Henderson, Nevada, who allegedly accepted $10,000 for a rug made out of an endangered tiger after offering the item for sale on Craigslist for $12,500. See:


Karla Trejo, 42, of Sherman Oaks, who is charged with selling a live Western Scrub-Jay for $185 after posting an ad on Craigslist. See:


Dan Tram “Majkah” Huynh, 30, of San Diego, who allegedly sold an Asian arowana to an undercover agent for $2,500 after offering the fish for sale on Craigslist. See:


Henry Dao, 41, of Garden Grove, who allegedly sold two live Red-whiskered Bulbul birds for $1,750 after offering the injurious species for sale on a website used to trade and sell “softbills.” See:


Alex Madar, 27, of San Diego, who allegedly sold sea turtle leather shoes for $250 after posting the items for sale on Craigslist. See:


Kamipeli Piuleini, 35, of Torrance, who allegedly sold a Hawksbill sea turtle shell that had been listed on eBay. See:


Tyler Homesley, 24, of Ramona, who allegedly offered to sell three birds –including two protected migratory birds, a Eurasian kestrel and a Black-shouldered Kite – for $150 after placing an online advertisement (plus a $25 delivery fee for total price of $175). See:


All of the federal cases allege misdemeanor violations that carry maximum statutory penalties of either one year or six months in federal prison.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office last month filed three cases.


The defendants charged in state court each face two misdemeanor charges. They are:


Alfredo Vazquez, 50, of Montebello, who allegedly sold to undercover operatives an elephant’s foot, a mounted hawk and a mounted owl See:


James I. Colburn, 66, of Leona Valley, who allegedly sold a bear skin rug. See:


Blake William Diekman, 27, of South Pasadena, who allegedly sold a live piranha. See:


Criminal charges contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.


Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


The Operation Cyberwild task force was assisted by five volunteers from the Humane Society of United States, who searched the Internet for suspicious items and referred the listings to investigators.



CONTACTS: Assistant United States Attorney Rupa S. Goswami

Environmental Crimes Section

(213) 894-5486

Assistant United States Attorney Amanda M. Bettinelli

Environmental Crimes Section

(213) 894-0470

Deputy District Attorney Dan Wright

Environmental Crimes Section

(213) 580-3209

Fish and Game Warden Patrick Foy

California Department of Fish and Game

(916) 651-2084

Release No. 12-003
January 6, 2012

André Birotte Jr.

United States Attorney

Central District of California

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer

(213) 894-6947


Despite this undercover operation, the trade in tiger bones and skins is still active on eBay as of April 2012.

Today at Big Cat Rescue New Year’s Eve

Kitten Rescue



There’s an estimated 50 million stray cats in America! So when Big Cat Rescue staff spotted a stray kitten on Christmas Eve we decided to rescue the kitten and help make a difference!

Humane Society of Tampa Bay:












































Hopefully, you know we are kidding.