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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, September 2, 2013

When there is a reproducing Pumas population present in a region, it becomes obvious either through verified photos or (unfortunately) road killed animals..............The Los Angeles basin is only home to 6 to 10 Pumas but this past week has seen two pictures of them, one in Ventura County on the Mulholland Highway and now another(video) in the San Gabriel Mtns near Glendora, Calif.....................Amateur naturalist Robert Martinez has shared some great video of the "Cat" dragging a recent deer kill!(additional footage of a black bear and deer as well)

Another LA-area lion drags away a deer on camera (video)
kevin Roderick


Whoa, this must be mountain lion week on LA Observed. The photo of Santa Monica Mountains cougar P-23 on top of a deer she had just killed (or was in the process of killing) on Mulholland Highway was pretty dramatic. I've seen it re-posted just about everywhere. But Glendora photographer Robert Martinez can do better. On Thursday he went to collect the images from one of the trail cameras he has placed in the mountains above his hometown. He found that he had footage of a lion dragging and hiding a newly downed deer right in front of his camera — in the daylight just 12 minutes before he got there.

Martinez also posted a night clip of the lion returning to the kill nine hours later. This lion does not look to be tagged or collared — she (Martinez thinks it's a female) is in the San Gabriel Mountains, not the Santa Monicas where lions are being tagged and tracked. She looks skinnier in the infrared light at night.

Martinez has posted a dozen videos of mountain lions, bears and foxes in just the past three months, but he has been at it for more than a year. He has captured lions marking their turf, two lions galloping at night together, a mother black bear with her cubs, ringtails, a bobcat and other wildlife. One thing for sure: when you hike in the mountains above Glendora, you are not alone.

Martinez tells me he's 40 and works in the merchandising department at Stater Bros. "I've always been obsessed with mountain lions," he says via email. "I just started doing this last year after seeing various signs of lion activity while hiking in my local mountains and at the same time learning about trail cameras. I've got way more wildlife footage than I could've ever expected!" He uses Bushnell HD Trophy cameras — check out this wary lion investigating the camera one night last year.

I asked him if it's just a little scary to realize he shows up sometimes right behind his prey — like with Thursday's hungry cougar. "Oh yeah! Sometimes it is a little creepy being out there on my own knowing some these animals were passing by only hours before I got there," he says. "The other day though was by far the scariest! I never thought I would find a fresh kill only minutes after the lion left it in front of my camera. I'm almost certain I was being watched that morning."

Better him than me. Here's a black bear out in the daylight in May. I'm no expert, and yes the screen grab is cropped, but isn't this guy ambling in to check out the camera kind of big? Watch the action on Martinez's YouTube page.
Noted: I see a lot of the people posting the Irv Nilsen photo of P-23 on social media also marvel that such a scene is possible in the nation's second-largest city. Well, clearly it is possible — there is at least one lion roaming Griffith Park right now as far as we know, and he's gotta eat. But P-23's deer kill last weekend was actually on Mulholland Highway in Ventura County, not to be confused with Mulholland Drive in the city. The site is reportedly west of Decker Canyon and highway 23. That's what, 20-plus lion miles from the city limits of Los Angeles? Just guessing, but under no interpretation is it "in Los Angeles." We just share the mountain range. 

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