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Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Date: Oct. 26, 2010
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A rumor has been circulating in the Belwood - Belgatos - Surmont area about a mountain lion death earlier this week in or near Belgatos Park.  It's been confirmed that a mountain lion was killed on Monday evening by a Belgatos resident.  The mountain lion had killed multiple animals or livestock on the resident's property so the owner sought and received a permit to kill it from the state fish & game department.  This apparently happened on private property, most likely close to the park.

Related stories and updates:

Coyotes Roaming, Killing Pets in The Almond Grove and Glenridge Neighborhoods of Los Gatos (2008 post on Live in Los Gatos)

Mountain Lion Shot in Los Gatos (January 2008 story by Alastair Dallas in the Los Gatos Observer about a cougar shot in a backyard along Lora Drive)

Mountain lion killed on Hwy 17 near Cats Restaurant in Los Gatos (Jan 12, 2010, Santa Cruz Sentinel)

In late March, 2011, another mountain lion was killed in Redwood City. In the SF Gate article, it was relayed that:

"One of the big cats was treed in Palo Alto in 2004, a cougar showed up in a condominium complex in Pleasanton in 2006, and in September one was found roaming near Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto." (All killed, as well)

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RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: David Tharp
Date: Nov. 1, 2010

 Information I found about the cat. It was a Bay Area Puma Project cat, 13-F, Half Tail. The depredation permit was issued without an attempt to secure the livestock first (so this will happen again). This resident was allowed to shoot the cat with buckshot within range of a public park. This was done without notifying the Town of Los Gatos or Los Gatos PD.

 

 So why were all these issues allowed to transpire by DFG?

 

 I do not want this hunting club mentality perpetuated by the DFG to continue!

 

 I, we need to keep after these folks to change the culture to educate the ranchers and hobbyists how to take responsibility for their animals and protect them, just like they provide them with food, water, and veterinary care.

 

Currently I am working with Felidae Conservation Fund and we will be having a public meeting concerning this event and would like the residents of this neighborhood to attend and learn about these animals that live among us.

 I will update as soon as I have more info. David


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: Pablo Puma
Date: Nov. 1, 2010

This is a very unfortunate incident that could have been avoided, had this resident been properly instructed on how to secure his/her livestock from a mountain lion and any other predators for that matter. The truth is, we live in mountain lion country. These cats are seldom seen because first of all, there aren't that many, despite misconceptions to the contrary. One male puma requires anywhere from 100 to 200 square miles of range and males do not share their ranges. When you think about that, clearly the number of cats is far less than people think. These animals are protected because they were nearly hunted into extinction in the 1970's. The Felidae Conservation Fund, in conjunction with UCSC and agencies such as the State Parks, is currently conducting mountain lion research in the Sierra Azul Open Space. Their goal is to better understand these cats and to also educate the public, to dispel any myths and unfounded fears, as well as how to properly handle mountain lion encounters. As we continue to develop habitat into suburbs, encounters are eminent. For more information, www.felidaefund.org .


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: Mary Pope-Handy
Date: Nov. 1, 2010

Thanks to both of you for your comments.  It breaks my heart when these cats are killed - which seems to always be the case in our area when a cougar wanders into a residential area. (I read not too long ago that in the northwest they were able to tranquilize and relocate a cougar there - wish they'd do that here.)

David what is DFG?

I don't understand the permit issues involved between the town, the state's fish & game dept etc.  so don't know about that. I also do not know if the residence where this happened was in the town of Los Gatos (incorporated) or not (unincorporated). If the latter, there'd be no reason to talk to the town.  I don't have the address - can only speculate.


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: david tharp
Date: Nov. 2, 2010

 Sorry, Department of Fish and Game

David


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: David Tharp
Date: Nov. 5, 2010

Yes a Bay Area Puma Project study cat was killed under a depredation permit by a resident adjacent to Belgatos Park. This is currently being investigated. That’s all I can say about this incident.

 However on November 19th at 6:30 pm in the Kirsch Center at De Anza College Zara McDonald of the Felidae Conservation Fund will discuss Puma ecology and history, as well as the challenges of sharing habitat with these amazing creatures. This talk will also provide ways to safeguard human health, pets, and livestock for those that live in Puma habitat. Remember the town we live in is LOS GATOS, or THE CATS!

 If more info is needed please contact me, David Tharp at waterspot@verizon.net


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: Puma Getthaut
Date: Nov. 9, 2010

With all due respect, Los Gatos is not "mountain lion country", it is actually a town.  It may have been "mountain lion country" for hundreds and thousands of years, but now it is actually "people country".  Tens of thousands of people live here, including elderly folks and children, and they don't need to live in fear of mountain lions roaming through their streets and local parks.  Just like other towns across the country have to deal with bears and wolves and other dangerous predators, Los Gatos has to address mountain lions coming into town and developing a taste for killing domesticated animals.  Once they discover this easy prey, they are a danger to the community and cannot be allowed to roam the city for other vulnerable prey.  Mountain lions are not an endangered species, there are literally millions of acres of habitat for them across the state and misguided efforts to increase or maintain their presence in "people country" can have disastrous consequences.  I would encourage the Felidae Fund and anyone else who wants to support mountain lions to actually redirect their efforts towards acquiring more habitat through the Bureau of Land Management in order to help the species thrive in unpopulated areas. 


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: david Tharp
Date: Nov. 18, 2010

 

 

 November 19th at 6:30 pm in the Kirsch Center at De Anza College.

 

 I want to make it clear this is not a finger pointing session it is to discuss Puma ecology and history, as well as the challenges of sharing habitat with these amazing and sometimes difficult to live with creatures. This talk will also provide ways to safeguard human health, pets, and livestock for those that live and recreate in Puma habitat.

 

Come to this presentation and just sit and listen in anonymity or ask questions if you want answers. Zara has more experience with these animals than any one person I have ever worked with.

 DT


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: david tharp
Date: Nov. 18, 2010

November 19th at 6:30 pm in the Kirsch Center at De Anza College. 

 

 I want to make it clear this is not a finger pointing session it is to discuss Puma ecology and history, as well as the challenges of sharing habitat with these amazing and sometimes difficult to live with creatures. This talk will also provide ways to safeguard human health, pets, and livestock for those that live and recreate in Puma habitat. 

 

Come to this presentation and just sit and listen in anonymity or ask questions if you want answers. Zara has more experience with these animals than any one person I have ever worked with. DT


RE: Mountain Lion Killed in Belgatos Neighborhood of Los Gatos

Posted by: Pablo Puma
Date: Nov. 23, 2010

I hope that Puma Getthaut, came to the presentation and learned something last week. The statistics show, that the last fatal attack on a human being in the Bay Area was in 1909. The incident occurred near Gilroy and the mother and daugher actually died as a result of rabies.

The point I'm trying to make, is we are not on the Puma's menu. These cats do an amazing job of avoiding humans, even on the wildlife/urban interface. GPS data, shows cats moving in open space areas, all the while, avoiding the populated areas. The largest problem, that any animals are facing today, is safe movement corridors. Hwy 17 is certain death for all species. Most highways are. Felidae is currently working with the Nature Conservancy, to identify movement corridors and to procure and protect strips of land so that populations of all animals, can survive genetically, by mating with animals in other ranges. When a population becomes landlocked, weakness, disease and eminent extinction occur. 

Lion populations are not exploding. Deer populations are. Let's look at this for a moment. Deer are the main prey source for lions. Without the apex predator to keep prey populations in check, the whole ecosystem becomes compromised. This is a scientific fact proven time and time again, globally. Humans depend on these ecosystems just as much as wildlife. We need clean water and air, right?

Education and information are the best tools to protect all of us and allow us to continue to coexist so that the health of this planet will persist for our future generations to enjoy and survive.

Thanks,

Pablo


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