Posted: 4:57 AM Apr 27, 2007
Last Updated: 12:18 PM Apr 27, 2007
Reporter: Stephanie Ross
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountain lions may be one of the last animals you want to come face to face with in our Rocky Mountains.
But there is a way to get up close to these amazing creatures right here in Colorado Springs without fearing for your life.
This week on KK’s Creatures we’re introducing you to four mountain lion cubs at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The cubs were orphaned in Wyoming and brought to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo just over a year ago. Meet Motega, Yuma, Tocho, and Kaya.
This feed bag is no match for Motega’s strong jaws, and firm paws.
“This little clown over here is Motega. He is our most curious and most active of the group.”
There is also Tocho and Yuma. They prefer the warm sun, then there’s Kaya the shyest of the bunch.
“She’s unfortunately a little bit more afraid of new stimulus, so cameras, new people, all that a little bit frightening for her still.”
It may be surprising that these powerful cats are afraid of us because of what they are capable of.
“They are actually an ambush hunger, so they’ll stalk their prey, hide and then ambush from behind. They can do a lot of damage before you even know that they’re there.”
But you may be shocked to find that humans being attacked by mountain lions in the wild is not that common.
“It’s actually more likely that you’ll be attacked by a deer than it is a mountain lion.”
That doesn’t mean these trainers don’t have to take extra precautions when working with these four.
“We never put our hands in with them, if we feed them we either set it out or we use tongs, so we are never putting our fingers up to their mouth.”
The bars you see play a vital role in keeping the trainers safe although very soon those bars will be gone.
“They are getting a brand new exhibit, where they will have grass and trees and you wont see this ugly mesh, it’ll be really nice for them.”
Nice for them, and for zoo visitors who will get to soon see the creatures in a more natural habitat where they can learn to respect and admire these great felines.
“I think it’s important that they are here so that people can appreciate them and see them as more than just this scary animal that they don’t understand.”
Just because it isn’t too common to run into a Mountain Lion in the wild, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.
If you do see one while you are out, the best thing to do with them is to make yourself as big as possible, make noises, throw things but definitely don’t run away. That makes you easy prey.