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I just saw an ad on Craigslist in Magnolia about two cougars spotted on their land!!
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The Florida Panther is a subspecies of the mountain lion. According to the books, there are none here in Georgia. I saw one myself. Several neighbors also saw him. There was also an arrest of a man in west central Georgia that shot one. (They are endangered.) There was a report of another man that got caught shooting one in Georgia, and as his defense, he said in court that he couldn't be guilty because there are none of them in Georgia. Didn't wash with the judge. There are probably a few where you are if one has been spotted and then you had this attack.
 

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I was living in Georgia when I spotted a cougar. I called the game commission and they insisted I didn't see it. But I did, clear as day. I worked for a fox hunting facility there and when I asked the field master about it, he told me about a time when the hounds had a cougar on the run. It was some years ago.

Do you have any pictures of your mares injuries? Sounds morbid but I'm curious.
 

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in my experience(weve dealt with 2 differant cougers on our and our friends property), they go foe the easier kill, so it may have seen her as the easiest prey out of the herd (if its sick or starving it may have been desperate) and when it couldnt immediately get her down and when it realized her size it may have quit. but when theyre desperate yeah theyll try for a full grown horse....if it was a cougar that is...never dealt with a bobcat.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Copperhead- as I said, I kinda killed my camera last week (heh..)so am not able to really get a picture myself, but I'll try to see if I can borrow someone else's camera if I can this week.
ho
I won't keep Cougars out of the picture then. We've closed down our trails until we can figure something else so that noone is attacked.
 

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I vote for cougar as well. They are very elusive. I have lived in cougar territory my whole life and only seen one. I hear them quite a bit. Our govt authority denied for years they were here. So, yes, keep the cougar idea out there. Especially if the attack was at night. Cougars jump from the trees or a ledge. They get purchase on the animal close to the neck and their kill method is to break the neck if possible or cause bleed out from a major artery.

I would think that the cat jumped the horse and the horse realized just in time what happened and took off running before the cat got hold. If she kicked the cat on the way out of there, she may have stunned it enough to get back to the main herd. The cat would have had enough and would not venture into the herd at that point.

Someone suggested a bear. I'd nix that idea. A bear is not going to go for the back of an animal. They attack from the front or side. Never from the top.

I just looked around on the 'net and cougars are definitely in Texas.
 

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Copperhead- as I said, I kinda killed my camera last week (heh..)so am not able to really get a picture myself, but I'll try to see if I can borrow someone else's camera if I can this week.
ho
I won't keep Cougars out of the picture then. We've closed down our trails until we can figure something else so that noone is attacked.
Thanks for the reminder! I forgot about reading that lol
 

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Discussion Starter #28
You know, thinking about it, sometimes when taking Sour out on the trails or riding one of the horses, I'll hear (or maybe not HEAR, more like sense) this rumbling sound, everything goes so silent that its almost deafening, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. Its only happened once or twice but it causes me to have a terrified, sinking feeling and made me want to run (I didnt). Sour once felt or heard it too and froze mid-stride, so I know it wasn't just me being suspicious. I figured it was a bobcat since a lot of those things are credited to when bobcats are near, but havent people said the same thing with mountain lions? Eeesh.

NorthernMama, that would make a lot of sense. Alone, she probably didnt look all that hard to take down. As for the time, I really dont know when it happened. My shift for feeding is at 5 pm and thats when I do a once-over on everyone. Someone else comes out before me at 7 am but he generally just throws the feed into the buckets and leaves without doing a head count or anything. So it could of been overlooked.

The vet came out again today just to re-evaluate the scratches (they were really swollen the first day) and still thinks it was a big cat, as do we. She's really sore still but infection doesnt seem to be setting in or anything. We have her in a pen by herself until she's scabbed up pretty well, though.
 

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Endiku, if you ever hear a baby crying or a woman screaming when you're in the bush -- it's neither. It's a big cat. It's truly eerie.

As for closing down the trails until you know for sure... I don't know what the answer is there. You may or may not ever know there is a cougar there. And if you do find out, then what? Is that the end of trail riding? Difficult, isn't it?
 

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We would have black bear sightings when i was a kid. When someone saw a bear, we weren't allowed out on the trail for 2 weeks after. I never understood that concept. The animal was there before the sighting, it will be thereafter the sighting. It doesn't just disappear in 2 weeks. It might wander to another spot in its territory, but it isn't gone forever.

You can't live in fear. If there was concern about a rabid or diseased animal out there, I can see holding off on trails until the animal was caught. But wildlife is wildlife and it doesn't go away. I would still ride, but I would pack some protection. In Georgia, I carried a .22 revolver. I don't carry anything now that I'm back in Pennsylvania. You bet I'd carry at least an air horn if there was a cougar in the area though.

Just don't freeze your enjoyment because of fear. Nothing has changed other than the fact that you know what's out there. So, prepare for it.

It's not hard to desensitize your horse to an air horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
The thing about our trails though, is that although we do ride them, most of the time its a walking trail (its only about a mile long and splits in three directions, all leading back to the stables) for me to use for my therapy sessions with children. Most of them are highly disabled and out on the trail its usually just me, that child, a 'bombproof' shetland or caspian pony, and a sidewalker. Sometimes I don't even have a sidewalker and its just the three of us. Easy prey if you're hungry.

So I'm really just not sure what to do. I'm too young to carry a handgun in my area, although I am a seasoned shooter and can aim very well. I keep a pocketknife with me at all times but that would do little in a tangle with a large cat unfortunately :/ I do always make a point to be very loud on the rails to warn ANY critters (especially snakes since I run into them frequently) but thats about it. I'm a bit afraid to go on the trail.

I think the plan is to ride the entire property with some of the cowboys in the morning (them being armed) and skimming the property for any signs of a cat (prints, poop, etc) and go from there. Hopefully at that point we can determine just what it is and decide from there how to handle things. Until then, I'm not going on or allowing anyone to go on those trails. Not with a cat that has the guts to attack a 900 pound, healthy horse.

As for the airhorn, thats a good idea. I might try that. My therapy horses are already just about as bombproof as a horse gets without being a stuffed animal, so I'm sure it wouldnt be hard to desensatize them to that. I could probably do it in a single 10 minute session. Me on the other hand...I jump and scream any time I hear one, even if I'm the one setting it off XD
 
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