Persistent bear is killed in Moriarty
A hungry bear’s long journey ended in her destruction after
attempts at relocation failed, according to Marty Frentzel of the
state Department of Game and Fish. First caught June 28 near Cedro
while raiding bird feeders, the young female black bear was relocated
to Mount Taylor.
She made the trek from Mount Taylor to the West Mesa of Albuquerque
four days later, where she eluded capture and was caught a second
time a few days later in Moriarty and relocated again, this time
to the San Pedro Parks Wilderness near Cuba.
The persistent bear then made the 100-plus-mile trek back to Moriarty,
where she was caught for the third time and subsequently killed.
“More people living in bear habitat than in the past means
more opportunities for bears to get into trouble,” Frentzel
Frentzel said the number of calls about bears is highest at this
time of year, as the animals spend “twenty-three of twenty-four
hours looking for food” in preparation for winter. “Once
acorns and other natural foods ripen, there is a reduction in these
complaints,” he added.
“Give the bears a break and take down the bird feeders at
night,” Frentzel advised. “Keep trash inside at night.
Some people think it’s cute to feed bears, but you’re
sentencing that bear to death.” A study by Game and Fish a
few years ago estimated the number of bears in the state at 5,000
This article was originally published in The Independent,
August 10-16, 2005.
Forest Service employee keeps his cool as five lions approach
—MARK A MADSEN
What would you do if you encountered a mountain lion in the wild?
How about five mountain lions? If you're smart, you'll do just what
John Montoya, a U.S. Forest Service employee, did August 1 while
working in southeastern New Mexico.
Montoya was hiking to a wildlife trick tank (a structure for grazing
animals that is placed away from riparian areas and naturally fed
by rainwater or snow melt) on the top of Patos Mountain in southeastern
New Mexico when he noticed a mountain lion watching him from a rock
bluff a few hundred yards from the tank. While looking for a safe
escape route back down the mountain, Montoya noticed four more lions
coming up the drainage toward him. As he backed off the mountain,
one of the lions suddenly appeared about thirty feet behind him,
so he started yelling and waving his hard hat and shovel in an effort
to scare the lion off. Too cautious to attack, but undaunted by
Montoya's display, the lion followed him down the mountain, stopping
when Montoya stopped. Montoya finally made it back to his truck,
with the lion stopping at the edge of the tree line in thick oak
Montoya's actions were excellent examples of what people should
do if they encounter a mountain lion. He looked for a safe escape
route when he first noticed the lions, making sure to stay out of
any thick brush or trees. When one of the lions closed the distance
and walked toward him, he made noise and made himself appear larger
by waving his arms. He then proceeded to back slowly away from the
lion, maintaining indirect eye contact until he was in a safe place.
While wildlife attacks of any kind on people are rare in New Mexico,
there are some simple steps to follow if you find yourself in an
encounter with a mountain lion:
• Stop—don't run—and slowly back away. Running
may stimulate a lion's natural instinct to give chase and attack,
as they would normally do with their prey.
• Make noise by yelling or talking loudly, and make yourself
appear larger by raising your arms and waving them. If you have
on a jacket or coat, open it and spread it out with your arms
to make your silhouette larger.
• Convince the lion that you're not prey by throwing rocks
or sticks at it in an effort to drive it off. Convince the lion
that you are dominant and a danger to it.
• If a lion attacks, fight back. Use anything you can as
a weapon: rocks, sticks, backpacks, or your bare hands.
People shouldn't be afraid to enjoy the outdoors in New Mexico.
However, it always is a good idea to be aware of your surroundings,
especially when hiking or camping in areas where prey species, such
as deer, may be concentrated. In this instance, the mountain lions—probably
a female with yearling kittens—may have been waiting for prey
to come for water at the trick tank. Montoya just happened to show
up when the lions were still active.
Homeless Corrales pets go online
Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare, of Corrales, recently started listing
its homeless pets on Petfinder.com, the oldest and largest database
of adoptable animals on the Internet. The site currently has over
190,800 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.
Betsy Saul, president and cofounder of Petfinder, said, “Residents
of the area will now be able to look at local pets from the comfort
of home. Those same pets, though, will also be presented to a much
greater pool of potential adopters outside their own community.”
More than 8,890 animal-welfare organizations in the United States,
Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico post their pets on Petfinder.com.
Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare pets can be viewed at www.petfinder.com/shelters.
Once visitors to the site find a pet they are interested in, they
contact the shelter where it is housed. Each animal-welfare group
has its own policies and handles its own adoptions.