Big Bend Nat. Park shut-down due to mountain lion attack!


May 14, 2003, 09:10 AM
Heard on the radio that there's been a mountain lion attack on a 30 y.o. male at Big Bend National Park, and that the park has been shut down while lion is hunted. Does anyone have any particulars?

(I'm been hiking at Big Bend and am planning another trip there in early June)

Reminds of the saying I read once, something to the effect that :
Big predators can only visulize you as prey or something to be feared. Once you stop even limited hunting, within a few years they will lose their fear of people. At that point people then slip into the only other catogory these animals have, which is prey!
In effect a complete ban on hunting big predators in areas that people visit, is almost surely condemning women/children (the usual prey) to becoming victims in the future.

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Art Eatman
May 14, 2003, 10:37 AM
I know there have been two previous attacks, up in the Basin. This is the first instance of an attack on an adult male hooman bean, though.

Might be something on it in the San Angelo or Odessa paper, and they're online.

We're bum-deep in lion poop, around Terlingua; they're not just up in the Park...


Addendum; all there is at the Midland website:

"Big Bend National Park has been shut down while officials try to hunt down a mountain lion that attacked a 30-year-old male hiker.

A trained dog team went to the 800,000-acre park to hunt for the animal.

The attack occurred at about 8:30 Tuesday morning on the Basin Loop Trail, within a mile of the Chisos Basin Lodge. The hiker said the lion attacked him after he shouted and threw stones, trying to scare the animal away."

May 14, 2003, 10:34 PM
Moral of the story: don't throw stones and shout at mountain lions! In Africa, we'd say that the lion has the right of way... :D

May 15, 2003, 01:24 PM
when one is on mr. kitty's menu
throwing stones and shouting
maybe your only option

to bad the hiker did not have
a S&W .500 mag
or a .308
or a khurkuri
or a louisville slugger

i liked Art's "relocate? where?" ( comment!


Art Eatman
May 15, 2003, 02:12 PM
With a "normal" wild mountain lion, standing erect and making any sort of noise is sufficient for an adult person. Park lions have had people around them since they wuz cubs, and have no fear. There's also no way of telling if this particular animal is ultra-hungry due to injury, or possibly (albeit unlikely) rabid.

The previous two attacks in the Basin area of the Park have involved small children, which are about the right size for cougar-food. This is the first substantiated case of a full grown person being attacked. (A woman claimed an attack, but it's possible the lion's idea of an escape route was vaguely in her direction. No injuries.)


Art Eatman
May 16, 2003, 12:17 PM
From the Midland newspaper (

"Officials at Big Bend National Park have found and "humanely killed" a mountain lion they believe responsible for attacking a hiker.

Park spokesman David Elkowitz says the mountain lion believed responsible for Tuesday's attack on a 30-year-old man appeared old, emaciated and in extremely poor condition.

A necropsy will be done.

The attack happened within one mile of the Chisos Mountain
Lodge. The hiker was clawed and bitten, but was treated by park personnel and then drove himself out of the park. His name wasn't released.

The park closed some trails in the Chisos Mountains shortly
after Tuesday's attack.

WOAI television reports all those trails opened today, but
with some restrictions:

* For now, Big Bend is allowing no solo hikers or hikers under 12 on the five trails in the High Chisos Mountains;

* Three campsites are also temporarily closed: Juniper Flats, Boulder Meadows, and Pinnacle."

:), Art

May 16, 2003, 12:27 PM
Thanks Art for the update. Glad that that animal is gone. Will be hiking ou there first week in June if heat doesn't kill us.

May 16, 2003, 12:31 PM
The parents of the 3 year old ought to sue the enviro-loonies and the government for endangering their lives, by stopping the hunting of mountain lions.

Art Eatman
May 16, 2003, 05:01 PM
Hey, Frohickey, you done went and had a dyslexic attack! :D Thirty years of age, not three. That's 3-0, not 3. :D :D


May 16, 2003, 08:52 PM
Doh! Thirty year old adult, instead of three year old kid.

I remember a California jogger that died from a mountain lion attack, as well as babies that were being dragged into the woods by a mountain lion.

How come during the campaign to stop mountain lion hunting, they used a small mountain lion cub in the ads, instead of a fully grown mountain lion dragging a kid into to woods to feed her mountain lion cubs.:cuss:

May 16, 2003, 08:56 PM
As far as animals responding to a particular action from humans, I believe it is very possible for the animal to suffer from mental illness to the extent that its actions are different from the norm. I have observed dogs and cats that are physically normal but respond in unusual ways to human interaction. It is possible that this same thing could apply to critters in the wild, also. Whatever the reason, the offending creature must be removed. Wildlife people have determined that depredations by coyotes are caused by a small number of "defects", and removing specific animals does more good than wholesale slaughter.

May 16, 2003, 10:17 PM
No one said wholesale slaughter.

Just a normal thinning of the herd via hunting.

May 16, 2003, 11:44 PM
I read that the big cats "hunt" people walking down the trail and that if ya wore like a halloween mask or something (with eyes) backwards the cat will think you are looking at it and will not stalk you...makes sense to me, might even get some free candy!

May 17, 2003, 07:16 AM
Bruz, maybe one of those masks with the blood-shot eyeballs dangling from slinky springs. That oughta stop 'em!!

Art Eatman
May 17, 2003, 08:22 AM
Yeah, Bruz, I've read of that in Asian tiger country...

Cougars are curious critters. They want to know just who's roaming around on their turf. They'll follow along behind you without--apparently--having any intent to attack.

It can sure be spooky, though. A buddy of mine kept hearing an occasional sound behind him one day. He backtracked no more than 20 or 30 feet, and saw grass springing back up in the middle of a paw print. He never saw Putty.

Sneaky lil critters.


May 28, 2003, 07:13 PM
Well I would be real ticked with myself if I wrestled with a cougar and he got away. I mean heck I should have at least 20-30 pound advantage on even a big mt lion. :D

Now if he stalked me successfuly I'd deserve it for not staying in orange.

Art Eatman
May 28, 2003, 07:46 PM
Ah, Glamdring! Ever the optimist! Remember you're rolling about with a critter with inch-long claws and teeth. A female lion of no more than 100 pounds was known to have killed and then dragged a 500-pound cow elk for over 100 yards into some brush.

Absent knife or gun, I'll book 13:2 on the lion.

:D, Art

May 28, 2003, 08:34 PM
Too bad not everyone has that Predator cloaking device. Would be neat to active the cloaking device when you think puddytat is stalking.

May 29, 2003, 04:47 PM
Art ,I believe it was last year that a fellow on Vancouver Island Killed an attacking lion with a pocket knife , I'll let you do it while I film it . Here in the east we solve it differently - most states NY,PA,MI etc just just say they don't exist. This despite ever increasing number of sightings.

May 29, 2003, 04:53 PM
As I remember, the Vancouver incident involved a not-fully grown lion of about 90 lbs. While the man "won", he spent some time on the hospital critical list.

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