Home > environment, Eureka California > Cougars in Freshwater — and downtown Eureka!

Cougars in Freshwater — and downtown Eureka!

[Email from Travis Pepke]

The main topic of conversation around our office this morning is “cougars in Humboldt,” and not the human variety. Here is what we know/have heard:

  • My co-worker, Doug Shernock, tells us that over the weekend his daughter’s prize horse in Freshwater was chased into a gully and died. When the animal’s remains were recovered, they found evidence that a cougar had attacked said horse and left claw strikes all over the hindquarters. Apparently another horse from a pasture across the street was also killed and partially eaten a day or two previous to that, and Doug tells us that he recently spoke with an unspecified Dept. of Fish and Game worker who swore he saw a “pride” of cougars near Freshwater in Del Norte County.
  • Unconfirmed rumors have been bandied about regarding further recent killings of goats and other small farm stock in the Freshwater area.
  • A quick Google search uncovers a legitimate on-camera sighting of 8 cougars working together in Wenatchee, WA last Feb, so we know the grouping behavior at least has precedent.
  • Another co-worker tells us that her son’s school in Freshwater has taken precautions by taping off certain wilderness areas and prohibiting kids from going there, for fear of cougar attack.
  • Last night, yet another co-worker of mine and a number of other patrons at Ragg’s Rack Room in Eureka witnessed two mountain lions walking down the sidewalk near the post office on 5th & H St. Cougars in downtown Eureka!

I’m sure you’ve probably been receiving other mentions on this story, but just in case I thought I’d send what I’ve been hearing.

Travis Pepke

  1. High Finance
    May 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Dangerous animals. I read where Humboldt County used to have quite a huge sheep industry before California banned the killing of Mountain Lions.

    Now there are growing numbers of Mountain Lions more embolden than ever before and the sheep industry is virtually dead.

  2. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t believe the 5th and H sighting unless they were escaped “pets.”

  3. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hopefully as their population is visible it’s thus stable. I walked within ten feet of a hiding mountain lion once, it bolted from the brush beside me so fast I couldn’t believe it. With what seemed like three leaps in three seconds it was 50 yards away, either hiding behind thicker cover or still going. Very silent. Was about as big as a dog. It happened too fast for me to paint any pictures of me being attacked by it, but I couldn’t help imagine it after the fact. I felt honored more than anything. Was about 5 years ago, only seen a bear since. Much bigger than a dog…it wandered into the area I was sitting, looked up and saw me, sat down just like a big dopey dog with its ears perked up and watched me, which was very cool but got me scared after a full minute of sitting still, so I stood up started to leave, and it took off running straight the opposite direction, I could hear branches breaking a good ways down as it stumbled through. Felt sorry for it, I know people hunt them in that area.

  4. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    “the sheep industry is virtually dead”, OMG that’s an LOL. That’s probably the only funny thing you’ve ever written on this blog. Wash your hands, that was pulled out of your ass so fast it’s dookie.

    Hopefully as their population is visible it’s thus stable.

  5. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Yeah, I’m having a real hard time believing the supposed 5th and H sighting. Mountain lions are quite wary of humans and aren’t going to just casually stroll along a downtown sidewalk.

  6. Fact Checker
    May 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    “Last night, yet another co-worker of mine, Orion Hulin, and a number of other patrons at Ragg’s Rack Room in Eureka witnessed two mountain lions walking down the sidewalk near the post office on 5th & H St. Cougars in downtown Eureka!”

    Two Mountain Lions or Cougars?


  7. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    my post disappeared so I wrote again and the one that disappeared reappeared. VOODOO.

  8. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Fact Checker: for sure the “cougars” in downtown Eureka at the pool hard were the type looking for younger men! good one!

    The story about the ones in Freshwater is pretty scary. I have lost several smaller animals on my property but didn’t know they would go after a horse.

  9. Smart 5th Grader
    May 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    High Finance says:
    May 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

    “… and the sheep industry is virtually dead.”

    Wrong, not dead. Hoofed locust are a scourge upon the earth.

    “Sequoia National Park History: The first white man to visit the giant trees may have been Hale Tharp in 1858 who eventually settled in the area and grazed cattle in meadows. Others followed, and extensive damage to the area was done by settlers who grazed sheep (called “hoofed locusts” by John Muir)…”

    Not factual No Class Finance.

    “Sheep production peaked in North America during 1940s and 50s at more than 55 million head.[2] Henceforth and continuing today, the number of sheep in North America has steadily declined with wool prices and the lessening American demand for sheep meat.[3]”

  10. Curley
    May 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    The sheep industry in areas where it was big in the old days such as the King Range is dead- but that’s mainly because ranchers couldn’t poison Coyotes anymore like in the old days. There are still plenty of cougars there as they are everywhere. I just saw two in broad daylight south of Ferndale along Blue Slide Road. Personally- I’ll prefer cougars over sheep anytime. I do share their taste for Lamb though.

  11. What Now
    May 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    “High Finance says:
    May 24, 2011 at 11:57 am
    Dangerous animals. I read where Humboldt County used to have quite a huge sheep industry before California banned the killing of Mountain Lions.

    Now there are growing numbers of Mountain Lions more embolden than ever before and the sheep industry is virtually dead.”
    Not to fear.We still have you, muttonhead.

  12. Travis P
    May 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I’m the guy who wrote Heraldo about the aforementioned cougars – Yes, the 5th & H sighting actually happened and no, it was not the kind of cougar that wears heavy makeup and has fake nails. And yeah – “cougars” = “mountain lions”. I specifically picked the latter descriptor for that note as I knew the joke was comin’.

    A quick edit – My coworker Doug tells me the Fish & Game person saw the “pride” of cougars in Del Norte, not Freshwater. This is why I’m not a reporter. Carry on.

  13. fishkilla
    May 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    We should march down the street with torches.

    People please… there are no mountain lion attacks. Fact check your stories!

  14. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Do you think these mountain lions commuted to downtown Eureka, Travis?

    There was a mountain lion attack at Prairie Creek State Park a few years ago, Fishkilla. Luckily the wife was able to beat it off and the victim survived.

  15. Bolithio
    May 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    They were dogs. Walking on the side walk?? I dont think so. A lion would be running scared and confused – especially down town – and would be all over the place moving very erratically.

  16. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    PJ 2:18, “Luckily, the wife was able to beat it off.”

  17. Travis P
    May 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Here is what I learned about the downtown sighting, and of course this is second-hand info as I wasn’t there: When my coworker saw them, they were crouched beneath a delivery truck parked on the side of the road. The animals were taller at the shoulder than the wheel of said truck when they skittered out and ran for the next bit of cover around the corner. He says their tails were very long and the shape was definitely the distinctive shape we associate with a cougar tail. Color, size, shape, and behavior of the animals were all consistent with that of a cougar. They were skittish, and heading generally south. That’s all I know.

    Plain Jane – I am assuming they walked, but you’d have to ask them.

  18. clamgun
    May 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I need to head downtown, Were the cougars two legged or four legged?

  19. Doug S
    May 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’m the above referenced Doug Shernock.
    I’ve heard that F&G are denying that these two horses at Freshwater Stables were attacked by mountain lions. In the case of my daughter’s horse, here’s how it was described to me by my ex wife:
    The guy who picked up the dead horse washed it off first, and noted some wounds. He called a vet, and described the wounds. The vet said that they were “classic” mountain lion wounds.
    She also said that John, the guy who works at FW Stables, was instructed by F&G that he could not hunt a lion, but if he saw it on the property he could shoot at it.
    He was carrying a sidearm in a holster on his hip when I saw him last.

  20. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I know English mastiffs that are as big or bigger than cougars, same color and long tails as well. I can’t believe there is enough suitable habitat anywhere near 5th and H or that they could travel the distance between their habitat and downtown without being seen numerous times.

  21. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Get your mind out of the gutter, 2:27.

  22. Travis P
    May 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve also just learned that Fish & Game has investigated the two horse carcasses in Freshwater and their (current) official position is that there is NO EVIDENCE of cougar presence in Freshwater. Not sure what else kills horses out there, but there ya go.

  23. CletusAnn
    May 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    A friend of mine lost his two pack llamas to a mountain lion from his property out in Bayside in 2004. One llama was dragged away and covered with leaf litter–mountain lion behavior for caching a kill. The cat was tracked–a guy hired by F&G, with dogs–and killed.

    In 2007 I saw a photo snapped by a backpacker out at Redwood Creek of a mountain lion sauntering by his tent, not hunting, just out for a stroll and not intimidated by the proximity of the backpacker.

  24. Curley
    May 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    While cougar attacks are extremely rare- it did happen to Jim and Nell Hamm from Fortuna a couple of years ago and I do know of a cougar in Orick taking a man’s dog and then coming back the next night for a goat. Same here in Eureka- a cougar took a neighbors goat some years go near the Mc Kay tract. When I say rare, it’s in relationship to the very large cougar population in Humboldt county in general. You’d expect more incidents, but they still have habitat and lots of deer, especially the new fawns this year that will survive so well because of the rains and fresh browsing.

  25. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    It seems highly unlikely that there aren’t cougars in Freshwater, but dogs will also chase horses and attack them if they fall. If the horse was injured in the gully, there are lots of animals that would feed on them.

  26. Omnomnonimous
    May 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Never heard of bears attacking horses, but there are a lot of them around right now. They’re hungry as hell after a long wet winter and haven’t moved upland to chase berries yet. We live just north of Freshwater and there’s a pair I think are probably both 2-yrs old who’ve been trying to raid our garbage shed daily for the last couple weeks.

    In 20 years here we’ve seen mountain lion tracks on the property a couple times but never a live sighting.

  27. Waren Zevon
    May 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    “I saw werewolf drinking a pina-colada at trader vics, his hair was perfect”

  28. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I heard of a bear attacking a tethered goat in Elk River a few years ago right in the people’s front yard. They chased the bear off but the goat died anyway. Berries were very late that year and there were lots of bear / human interactions, mostly of the garbage can variety.

  29. Travis P
    May 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Yep, could be dogs or bears attacking things in Freshwater – I am neither a biologist nor vet, and I didn’t see the carcasses myself. As for the downtown sighting – just know that the person who saw them was not alone in the sighting, was not in any way drunk/high/whatever at the time of sighting, and is a very astute individual who can definitely tell the difference between a pair of giant cats and a couple of big dogs.

  30. Ed
    May 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    It’s amazing to me that anyone in FnG would deny the presence of mtn. lions in the Freshwater area. Maybe they didn’t see conclusive evidence, but they’ve been called out to shoot them in peoples’ front yards in the FW suburban neighborhoods in the recent past.

  31. Ed
    May 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Congratulations Heraldo! This has got to be the most imaginative way yet to report on those attacking a horse’s ass.

  32. Goat Lady
    May 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    The sheriff told me my missing goats in Bayside were probably taken by a mountain lion, last fall. No evidence, just one disappeared one night and the next night another one was taken, removed without a trace over a 5 foot fence. Being a quick learner, I moved them to safer territory the third night.

  33. middle ground
    May 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I agree Ed. It is beyond me how anyone from DFG could deny mountain lion presence in Freshwater. Freshwater is surrounded by forests that extend over Kneeland and to Six Rivers NF. Of course mountain lion could be there.

  34. Emily S
    May 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    As it was my horse that was chased into a deep narrow drainage ditch, I would like to clarify a few things:
    1. My horse was not eaten once she came to rest in the ditch, probably because she was almost completely submerged in water and mud. That is why the damage to her body was not visible until she was removed from the ditch.
    2. Dogs do not make giant claw marks on the top, sides, and backs of horses’ rear ends, nor can a horse possibly run backwards fast enough in the open LET ALONE through fencing or brush to be able to inflict the wounds suffered by my little horses tush. (She had a name. It was Bandon. I raised her from the morning she was born. She would have been two on August 24th.)
    3. My horse was NOT known for running through fences as someone had the audacity to claim in a posting at three corners market. Please have some respect, if not for the dead then at least for the surviving family members.
    4. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Give it some thought, as much as you may not want to believe that there are things in the woods that could go after your animals or children.
    I am not asking anyone to go out and kill the beast, I am just asking for people to make themselves aware that we live in a rural area alongside wildlife, some of which can be incredibly dangerous to people, livestock and pets. Clearly the bureaucrats at Fish and Game are not interested in helping us anymore. Nothing I can do will bring back my little girl Bandon but hopefully my loss, as well as Vivian’s (her horse was Ruby who was killed the preceeding night in the field accross the road) can serve to help people make informed decisions about their safety in Freshwater.

  35. Saw it with my own eyes
    May 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I saw a mountain lion in Bayside last May, I’m sure it has territory here.

  36. Not A Native
    May 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Sorry about losing your horse, but surviving family members?? My little girl?? C’mon now, thats really over the top. By far, the most dangerous in the woods for people is other people. And even that is way less than falling, cold weather, and driving.

  37. Black-Flag
    May 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Fish And Game= F.A.G.

  38. Goat Lady
    May 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    NAN- you are as usual, an asshole. Animals mean the world to many people and those who respect them are people I trust more than those who don’t like or respect them. Calling your pet your “little girl” shows that Emily is a responsible pet owner and took ownership of this animal’s life care. There are so many who don’t care properly for those (children, pet, elderly, etc) who are in their care and are vulnerable.

    Making fun of her terminology in her time of sadness is, well, very like you, NAN.

  39. Goat Lady
    May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    and Black Flag, are you sure you want to make that post?

  40. Black-Flag
    May 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    F for fish A for and combined with G for game….what is the trouble?

    maybe you are retentive?

  41. Not A Native
    May 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Goat Lady you’re a hater. I’ve seen too many people in HumCo treating their pets with more care, respect, and compassion, than they do other humans. No matter how much you care for your pets and animals, they don’t have the moral value of humans, period. To claim otherwise is morally reprehensible. Losing a pet is sad, losing a human relation is tragic.

  42. May 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Depends on the human.

  43. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    So sorry about your loss, Emily. Unfortunately there aren’t many areas of Humboldt County where pets are safe without secure nighttime shelter.

  44. Seldom Spoken
    May 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I don’t think Not a Native has ever known the unconditional love a pet gives to its person, even if they aren’t treated as well as they should be.
    I know this is old but…I’d like to put NAN and my dog in the trunk of a car and come back a few hours later and see who is happy to see me. (I wouldn’t put my dog in the same car with NAN. My dog has standards.)

  45. Not A Native
    May 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Its all about you Seldom Spoken, isn’t it? Only something that will slavishly attend to YOU has any value to you. You’re the epitome of self-centered and selfish, a poster child slave owner. But you’re correct in one thing, only a dog will ever look forward to seeing you.

  46. Goat Lady
    May 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I understand the difference between people and pets, NAN. I also have seen your hate and ugliness in many posts, displaying your jaded, bitter attitude. There was no reason to chastise a person who had just had a traumatic thing happen like this. People who are kind to animals are generally kind to people, in my experiences, and the opposite is also true, a well know fact. (people who are cruel to animals are also known to be risks around other humans).

    This is a scary story and people as well as animals are in danger from whatever chased and killed these horses.

  47. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I lived on a working cattle ranch way out in the country. In the nearest town there were reports of cougars attacking dogs and cats and chasing cattle. Come to find out it was really two fawn colored Great Danes. Got to be careful where you place the blame. Also the logging drives wildlife out of there habitat and deer hunting takes food away from the mountain lions.

  48. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    For those who may care I should have spelled it THEIR.

  49. 06em
    May 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    We live at a time when, conservatively, half the people walking around downtown Eureka have cell phones capable of taking pictures. No pictures of these mountain lions as they navigated one of the most concentrated (population-wise) areas of the county?

    Hmmmmmnnnn. Sorry, I call bullshit.

    As for Freshwater, it is very easy to believe that a mountain lion could include Freshwater/Three Corners in its range. I’m sorry to hear, Emily, that you lost such a dear companion.

  50. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    There are 2 at the bar at the Alibi right now!

  51. Oldphart
    May 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Photos please.

  52. Mr. Nice
    May 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Psssht Not a Native.

    If it makes y’all feel better, seen mountain lions every year at the same time, then they take off at the same time and come back later at the same time and there they are again. Clockwork. Even like all damn, it’s that same mountain lion with one eye and shit. Any of y’all seen that one?

    Problem with freshwater is they prolly ain’t got enough deer with all the fucking humans everywhere. 75 miles south they eat deer like savages with all them bobcats jacking rabbits and foxes barking and shit.

    We’d trade y’all mountain lions for deer if it was possible. Mountain lions don’t eat plants.

  53. Black-Flag
    May 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    deer break cars….

  54. oneredhorse
    May 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I board at FWS. It is highly unusual that two horses would die in two days. The mare that was killed has a large area of her neck missing. Her horse blanket had many gauges and short slices in the right hind end. On the day she was killed the herd of deer that roam FWS stayed in the paddocks closest to the arena, not typcial behavior.

    NAM – I have a family, a child, and I own horses. I work in social services, over the years my profession and volunteering has been committed to children and famlies. And I can tell ya, the death of one of my horses or dogs is absolutely devastating to me. Ms. Shernock raised Bandon from the minute it was born. Her grief is hers and hers alone and she has the right to define/describe it any damn way she wants. I

  55. 06em
    May 25, 2011 at 6:52 am


    I drive through Freshwater 2-3 times a month n shit. I often see deer in the fields right next to the horse corrals. Y’alls wrong about where the deer hang out n shit. Leastways up here where w’all live. N shit.

  56. Goat Lady
    May 25, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Great, now we have Mr. Nice as well as NAN talking SHIT.

  57. argoo
    May 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

    This post and the responses are a perfect example of how bloggers are going to save the news industry: by being so inaccurate and opinionated and biased that people will have no choice but to look to the newsies for accountable, professional reporting that actually verifies some of the facts they report. Right now this whole thread is full of ridiculous claims and outright lies.
    In other words, it’s a total joke. And Heraldo is the only one laughing…

  58. Not A Native
    May 25, 2011 at 8:03 am

    oneredhorse I agree that everyone has a right to define/describe their feelings as they wish and that includes me as well. You can use foul language and claim its in the intest of goodnees and peace. Well it isn’t and your having a feeling doesn’t make that feeling reasonable, rational, or moral. Asserting an owner of a dead pet merits the consideration of a surviving family member of a deceased person is way over the top and immoral.

    Amd by the way, Goat Lady, aside from your revealed true nature of contempt for people by swearing at them, Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian and well known to be very caring and kind to animals. Its not generally true that people who don’t care that much for animals are cruel to other people. Scientists and doctors use animals for experiemnts to invent treatments and cures for people without puting people at undue risk.

  59. Fact Checker
    May 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Sad, the topic and facts at hand are not a joke. I doubt Heraldo is laughing.

  60. Mitch
    May 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

    While it’s true that you don’t usually see four legged cougars at 5th and H, I’ve heard from someone who heard from a friend that Ragg’s Rack Room had been offering a free drink to cougars and their parties.

    Personally, I find that irresponsible, but I guess business should be free to do as it wishes.

    And anyone who says there are no sheep in Humboldt hasn’t followed the news: just check Eureka election results and you’ll have more proof of the ever-growing sheep population than you can shake a coyote’s paw at. It’s not just stable, it’s growing.

    Oh yeah. Black Flag. Very, very clever. Did you think of that all by yourself?

  61. iPhone Prog. Liberal
    May 25, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Interesting read this morning.

  62. middle ground
    May 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Yep. NAN is an major jerk. I hope you feel better putting down others. Maybe NAN and PJ can have a GFY moment?

  63. Travis P
    May 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

    argoo: If it makes you feel better, you can ignore everything but the bare, verified facts. Fact one – two horses were killed, violently, in Freshwater within the last week. Fact two – both horses had evidence of slash wounds suggesting an animal attack. Fact three – one of the horses was missing part of it’s neck, suggesting that it was likely eaten. You can safely ignore all of the other anecdotal stuff mentioned here and still take these simple facts as evidence that something’s afoot in Freshwater.

    Geez – Who knew there were so many trolls on the Herald? (Yes, that’s sarcasm, in case you were wondering.)

  64. Frank
    May 25, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Perhaps the vagrant methheads are now eating horse flesh for free.

  65. Plain Jane
    May 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Mike Mayson is a trollish libeler and he and Middle Ground can both go fuck themselves.

  66. Anonymous
    May 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

    NAN, it appears as though you are simply trying to anger people. Why don’t you get on another article where people aren’t talking about losing beloved pets if you want to criticize people’s love for their animals? You really don’t understand people’s attachment to their horses and how losing one in this manner would be very upsetting?
    I’m guessing saying that Hitler loved animals is your way of saying being an animal lover doesn’t make you a good person. Well, Hitler was also a socialist so, using transitive logic, the fact that you’re a leftist doesn’t make you good, smart, or compassionate. Like Hitler, you’re just a mean-spirited little butthole.

  67. Teacher
    May 25, 2011 at 9:35 am

    NAN, it appears as though you are simply trying to anger people. Why don’t you get on another article where people aren’t talking about losing beloved pets if you want to criticize people’s love for their animals? You really don’t understand people’s attachment to their horses and how losing one in this manner would be very upsetting?
    I’m guessing saying that Hitler loved animals is your way of saying being an animal lover doesn’t make you a good person. Well, Hitler was also a socialist so, using transitive logic, the fact that you’re a leftist doesn’t make you good, smart, or compassionate. Like Hitler, you’re just a mean-spirited little butthole.

  68. Eric Kirk
    May 25, 2011 at 9:42 am
  69. ()*&#$$(*#*
    May 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Mountain lions roam over a huge territory in their lives and can travel several miles in an afternoon. This is baby season, which means young adult wildlife is often being pushed out. That works out to all kinds of wild life looking for its own home and exploring.

    There are a few corridors that wildlife can use to get to the bay shore and once there it is three blocks to the post office.

    Just saying, it is within the realm of possibility..

    I have see mountain lions four times but I have seen their sign many many times. My personal favorite is a dear head stuck between two rocks with the carcase eaten off of it on my friends ranch. I don’t find it hard to believe at all that no one got a picture. When you do see one, there is very rarely time to pee yourself, let alone get your phone out and take a picture.

    I am sorry about your horses, that really sucks. You are right, folks should be very aware of their wild neighbors. You have to be vigilant to keep you, your family and animals, as well as the wildlife safe.

    At the end of it all, currently we present a much bigger danger to wildlife than the other way around.

  70. May 25, 2011 at 9:55 am
  71. Travis P
    May 25, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Sounds like the DFG has made it’s official report: http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_18135110

    Verdict: ain’t no mountain lions around here doin’ nothin’, nohow. And there you have it.

  72. Emily S
    May 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Ad hominem attacks, really classy guys. And Plain Jane, next time I want lessons in horsemanship I will go ahead and give you a call. Until then no more advice on horse care, k?

  73. May 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Verdict: ain’t no mountain lions around here doin’ nothin’, nohow. And there you have it.

    DFG says “”No mountain lion has been observed attacking anything.”

    Good work, DFG!

    That leaves us with only one explanation: ALIENS.

  74. Teacher
    May 25, 2011 at 10:19 am


  75. Plain Jane
    May 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Emily, I didn’t give you any advice on horsemanship, but I undoubtedly could since I too am a horse lover who has raised several of them from newborn as well as trained them, and never lost a single one to wild animal predation. Of course, I loved mine enough to put them in a secure stable at night where they were safe even though I didn’t consider them my children.

  76. Germ o Phobe
    May 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Comment deleted.

  77. Plain Jane
    May 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

    My gosh Germ, you seem to be an asshole who makes assumptions with no foundation. You don’t know, unless you are “Mike Mayson” and “Middle Ground,” if they are men but they are both trolls who attacked me this morning out of the blue. You can GFY too.

  78. Freud
    May 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Someone has issues.

  79. skippy
    May 25, 2011 at 11:33 am

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Emily, Vivian, and their beautiful and loyal charges, Bandon and Ruby.

    The mood at FWS was subdued this past weekend; horse owners and boarders in shock, grief, and quiet disbelief. Former manager Ron Nelson’s daughter and son, Cindy and John, tired and beleagured over the course of events and several excruciatingly long days of repairing fences as much as saddened sentiments, persevered well managing both the crisis, details, and the day-to-day operations since their father’s untimely passing last year.

    California Department of Fish and Game’s RJ “Bob” Farrell was at Freshwater Stables Friday taking interviews and information, deciphering the facts from conjecture, stating clearly “there was no evidence of a killer lion on the loose.” Freshwater boarders, however, moved their horses from the General Pasture to safer ground as a precautionary measure; the principal of Freshwater School reportedly kept schoolchildren close to safety in the classrooms, or, ‘in lockdown,’ Friday, as word of a possible mountain lion attack spread.

    Some felt the CDF&G wasn’t taking this mountain lion matter seriously or warning others; Mr. Farrell, in contrast, felt boarder’s sentiments were bordering on “hysteria.” He further added, “…some Yahoo was in the field (of the alleged attacks) in the early morning with a loaded gun and caged live chickens,” supposedly to bait out and shoot the mysterious predator– and presenting an even larger problem than the one at hand presently.

    “I wish you or your supervisor would’ve responded earlier rather than taking over a day to respond to this, Bob,” one boarder curtly said to Mr. Farrell.

    Things have quieted down after the weekend. No other tragic incidents have occurred since these horrific events. The stables are returning back to normal; Emily and Vivian, nonetheless, have lost someone very dear.

    Today’s Times-Standard article by Kaci Poor, “Fish and Game Finds Mountain Lion Reports Unfounded,” reported:

    “The Freshwater community of Northern Humboldt County has been awash with reports and rumors of mountain lion attacks on horses and other livestock this past week, but a release issued by the California Department of Fish and Game on Tuesday emphatically stated that all reports have been investigated and deemed unfounded.

    ”No mountain lion has been observed attacking anything,” the CDFG release stated in all caps.

    According to the release, CDFG received a report on May 19 that a horse had been killed by a mountain lion at Freshwater Stables. Upon arrival at the scene, CDFG officials were informed that the carcass had been removed and buried on another property. According to the CDFG, witness accounts said the horse had been kicked in the head, died and then scavenged by animals during the night. Scratch marks found on the flanks of the carcass led one witness to conclude the horse had been attacked by a mountain lion. As a precautionary action and pending further investigation, CDFG issued a depredation permit which gives the owner whose animal was killed by a mountain lion permission to kill the animal if it is seen again.

    The next day, CDFG received another report that a horse had been killed on the same property. The CDFG enforcement officer and wildlife biologist who investigated the report were able to examine the carcass prior to burial. They did not find evidence of a mountain lion attack, according to the CDFG officials who said the horse died from injuries sustained when it fell into a drainage ditch.
    In addition to the two reports regarding the horses, the CDFG release said: “Several other reports of mountain lion ‘kills’ were being reported throughout the Freshwater community. All of these reports were investigated and deemed to be unfounded.”

    Any mountain lion sighting can be reported to the Eureka CDFG office during business hours at 707-445-6493.”

  80. Not A Native
    May 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Teacher, your language certainly shows the kind of instruction you’re able to offer. The only teaching you’re competant for is to be pointed out as a negative role model. Your ass would be fired in a second if you got anywhere near sincere educators. You’re no teacher, just just another local neocon right wingnut with a puffed up ego and on a high horse.

  81. Teacher
    May 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I would be an “example” then and not a “teacher.” Why don’t you just just keep setting the world straight there stuttering Stanley/NAN. I bet I can guess why you aren’t living where ever you came from. Could it be nobody there likes you because you are a mean little butthole?

  82. Plain Jane
    May 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Is “Teacher” really making fun of someone for an alleged speech impediment? OMFG!

  83. Mr. Nice
    May 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    06em point was if someone saw some mountain lions around here that wouldn’t make no news headline. Haven’t heard of attacks around here so assuming Freshwater is coming up short on food. Seen so many deer this year, deer doing it big. Eating all the weed. Enough to sell Ray’s out of soap.

    And can y’all quit fucking with Not A Native? Shit. Y’all act like it is a surprise that he posts any way he feel like.

  84. Mitch
    May 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm


    “Teacher” is not and never has been a teacher.

    If you needed any clear evidence beyond the general flavor of his or her (meaning his) comments, you just got it.

    No need to insult the profession by pretending “Teacher” might have been in it; he or she (meaning he) just means he’s going to teach us all.

    It’s a shame there’s no “ignore” setting on the Herald.

  85. Anonymous
    May 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    NAN is often offensive and his response to Emily’s story was unsympathetic and mean, but I have to agree that there are many people who seem to value animals over humans. Even Hitler was known to be a dog lover. Just saying – I don’t think you can draw a straight line between compassion for animals and compassion for humans. Even though, as Goat Lady pointed out, there is an association, well documented. I also know certain benefactors who seem to care more about dogs than humans in dire straights – at least as evidenced by their politics and personal actions.

  86. 06em
    May 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, MrNice. I haven’t seen more than average numbers of deer around Humboldt Bay and Freshwater. Someone who actually lives in Freshwater and tries to garden – as opposed to someone like me who merely drives through – might have a different take.
    I agree about the lion sightings in southern Humboldt. I only lived down there for 3 months and managed to see one. If you’ve never seen one before, the first time is quite an experience. You definitely sense the predator. The large predator.

  87. Mr. Nice
    May 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, MrNice. I haven’t seen more than average numbers of deer around Humboldt Bay and Freshwater. Someone who actually lives in Freshwater and tries to garden – as opposed to someone like me who merely drives through – might have a different take.

    That area is all timber land and former timber land that has had its habitat sawed up. Humans live right up on the natural spots. Folks these days are all stupid about deer like aw Bambi and taking pictures and shit but for serious folks need to be shooting deer on their land.

    Some folks say mountain lions are diseased and all that but they eat deer and raccoons and all them introduced game birds so we should be hella good with lions.

    Now folks are talking about depredation permits and shooting the lions but y’all should be encouraging reforestation long term and short term killing deer, cutting brush and not attracting raccoons. All this wouldn’t happen then.

  88. Goat Lady
    May 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Emily, as said earlier, you have much sympathy and so does the other person who lost their horse. Sorry about the insensitive comments. You know how people are. They don’t all suck, but there are always some who do. The majority are so sorry this happened to these two horses.

  89. Anonymous
    May 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I always find it to be interesting that so many people support animal charities over human. I suppose it has to do with the fact that animals are helpless and dependent. So are children, of course, but they supposedly have parents to care for them. Put a dog on the street corner and you will get more response almost every time.

  90. Not A Native
    May 26, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I also find it curious, anon 11:51.

    Animals in their natural habitats aren’t helpless and dependent at all. They become dependent on people only when they are selectively bred for more of the characteristics that people want them to have, or are taken out of their natural habitat and put into a human controlled habitat(like a bird cage).

    Some people have strong needs for some creature to be totally dependent on them. Animals can sometimes fulfill that need. All people have a need for food and animals are selectively bred to fulfill that need as well. Of course food animals are also dependent on people too.

  91. Mr. Nice
    May 26, 2011 at 7:39 am

    They become dependent on people only when they are selectively bred for more of the characteristics that people want them to have… Some people have strong needs for some creature to be totally dependent on them.

    True that. Some folks think they are animal lovers because they love to climb on animals backs or finna slap them in a cage.

    Folks don’t like animals that act like humans. Ain’t never heard of pet crows or tryna train raccoons.

  92. skippy
    May 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

    If you missed it, KIEM TV-News’ Cameron Kramer
    reported on this story putting pictures behind the people and issue, here.

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