“Living with Mountain Lions” – A Presentation at the Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek

September 19, 2013 10:00 am · 35 comments


Big cat expert Zara McDonald headlines Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s ‘Living with Mountain Lions,’ with an engaging, inspiring presentation about mountain lions and the work currently underway to study and protect them. Lindsay Wildlife Museum is sponsoring this event as part of its mission to educate people on how to respect and share the environment with wildlife.

A Bay Area native, McDonald is founder and Executive Director of Felidae Conservation Fund, whose local project, the Bay Area Puma Project, is the first large scale research, education and conservation program for mountain lions in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. These keystone predators (also called pumas and cougars) play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of Bay Area ecosystems. However, expansion of human populations causes increasing encounters and conflicts between humans and pumas, and growing tensions in local communities. McDonald discusses mountain lion ecology and history, the challenges of sharing the habitat with mountain lions, and offers essential tips for living and recreating without fear in puma habitat.

WHERE: Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, adjacent to Larkey Park.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 23, 7 p.m.

COST: $10/members, $15/non-members; pre-registration available at Lindsay Wildlife Museum.

For more information: Please call 925-627-2913 or visit Lindsay Wildlife Museum.

mike mac September 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM

the cute little kitties would not attack anything. they are not dangerous and we should not be concerned for the safety of people. we just need to understand them. they will respect our understanding of them.

Rico September 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Lots of pumas and cougars in the Broadway Plaza area of WC. They seem pretty tame except for a period between Thanksgiving and Christmas and a few sales the rest of the year.

hearts September 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

This is going to be a fabulous presentation. The lindsay museum has a mountain lion there; they have a program to rehabilitate wildlife and release them. This is going to be very educational.

Tiger September 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

No Fear… until one shows up in your backyard and eats your child.

No Fear September 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM

“essential tips for living and recreating without fear in puma habitat” LOL…..carry a gun AND a fixed blade knife 6″ minimum length.

A grown cat will drop from a tree onto you and attack until you are finished. Playing possum is no defense. First they gut you alive, then – well I guess then it doesn’t matter any more does it.

Mountain lions DID play a critical role in our ecosystem. Same with Grizzly Bears and wolves. They are now gone and the ecosystem survived just fine without them. Thank you very much.

In fact, we have so may big cats in California, the Dept. of Fish and Game issues hunting tags for them. When the population gets back to sustainable levels, they reduce or eliminate the number of tags issued for a given period.

I don’t want them prowling Walnut Creek at night. Thanks but no thanks.

Felino September 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

That’s one HOT looking Cougar!!!

The Mamba September 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Very cool, I’ll be there. LOL @ Rico, stay out of the cougar habitat during those times of year, for sure.

Boo September 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM


Derps September 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

In what way is she living with them?

cougar September 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM


The people are the invaders of MT Diablo-nature is trying to coexist, but nature is not always nice. 🙁

Freckles September 19, 2013 at 1:42 PM

These comments are perfect examples of the need to be educated about how to share the land with wildlife. Puma/cougar/mountain lion attacks are so incredibly rare. You should be more concerned about the pit bulls in our area attacking and killing our cats, dogs and children. That is far more likely to happen than a mountain lion attack.

Anon2you September 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

@Felino – Ditto…

Elwood September 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Tiger September 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM #4

No Fear… until one shows up in your backyard and eats your child.

Oh, please! You’re just showing your ignorance.

Your child has a higher likelihood of being struck by lightning.

Elwood September 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

@ no fear #5

You are a loony.

I hope you check under your bed for crocodiles too.

Much more dangerous than mountain lions jumping out of trees.

Nuts September 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Joined the Lindsay Museum years ago. One day they had all these school kids in there making lots of noise. I could see the mountain lion was very disturbed by all the racket.

@ Elwood September 19, 2013 at 3:56 PM

TIs you showing your loonesy.
Mountain lions are spotted in backyards in Danville area. Let’s hope you never procreated.

Elwood September 19, 2013 at 5:00 PM

@ @ Elwood

Yes, I had many children but they were all eaten by mountain lions.

Atticus Thraxx September 19, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Sounds neat. How cute are cougar kittens? Dang. The girl ain’t hard to look at either.

Please...... September 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I love how you make it sound like people are evil for living here. Let’s talk natural food chain. Mice are viciously killed and eaten alive by birds. Birds get viciously killed and eaten by other birds. Cute little fox also eat birds alive. Coyotes eat the fox after killing then with their bare teeth. Coyotes are eaten alive by Mountain Lions. Mountain Lions are allowed to live in peace by compassionate human beings. We humanely manage them and would put a person in jail for harming one.

Humans are as natural as any other mammal. We also have the unique quality of compassion. Don’t make it sound like this is “the cougars home” and we encroached on them as if we are evil. We’re not. We let them live. We protect and manage them. This is MY house. I am the top of the food chain. It’s good to be the king.

Mike September 19, 2013 at 6:13 PM

@ Bellewood #17

Did they eat the offspring you had with Fluffy, your male sheep lover?

Walnut Creek Resident September 19, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Well said number 19!!

Connie Dobbs September 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Dude. She has the crazy eyes.

Magic mike September 19, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Cougar with crazy eyes. I’m in

Dr. Jellyfinger September 19, 2013 at 9:16 PM

@Mike – that comment was disgusting. Male sheep? Ellwood is a guy! He only has eyes for ewe.

Elwood September 19, 2013 at 9:58 PM

@ Please

if you’ve ever been out in the woods at night and heard a big cat scream and the hair on the back of your neck stands up you know that you are no longer at the top of the food chain.

Please ..... September 19, 2013 at 10:56 PM

@ Elwood

I don’t have any hair on the back of my neck. I have my hair cut regularly unlike all other suboordinate mammals on the planet.

That aside, I can assure you that I have the ability to harvest any mammal for my dinner plate.

Dennis September 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Grizzlies are not Yogi and Boo Boo. Great Whites are not Flipper. Wolves are not Lassie. Cougars, lions, tigers are not cuddly housecats.

I would hope the lecture emphasizes these predators are not friendly, and consider humans as food. Not preferred diet, but still on the menu at all times.

Also note that DFG etc have been intentionally under reporting the cougar population and attacks on humans. There have been a dozen deaths and dozens of maulings in CA since 1984, when CA voters were misled into believing there were fewer than 600 cougars left in the wild, and they needed special protection (like the Condor).

In actuality, there are over 8000 adult cougar in CA … and the DFG revised their rules to count only cougars over 3 years old as adults, even though cougars are solo by the time they are 2.

In short, increased contact is not just because we are invading their territory, but also because their population is peaking, and adults Alphas are forcing the young adult cats out of traditional areas and into the suburbs.

I would hope the lecture stresses that any large predators should be treated like large venomous snakes: pretty, fascinating, but the risk they represent should not to be underestimated when encountered in the wild.

Note that cougars routinely choose their prey in herds; there is no safety in numbers. Family outings and picnics, even with large numbers of adults, are not necessarily ‘safe’ for children. Adults should be very aware of surroundings, the whereabouts and well being of children, at all times.

Timothy Treadwell September 19, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Absolutely no danger whatsoever.

guest September 20, 2013 at 12:09 AM

Mountain Lions avoid people at all costs. Only the injured and insane mt lions approach people. There is no mt lion ambulance that picks up injured lions, other mt lions stitch’m up, and they’re given foxes and ground squirrels while they rest and heal in a hospital built by other mt lions. So realize that you, the human, are a much bigger threat to them than a rabbit. If it’s up a tree it’s avoiding you. I was 25′ from a mt lion in an oak tree and it was scared, it wanted me to go away ASAP. It wasn’t going to risk injury, trouble hunting future meals, to harass me. However, if it’s waltzing through your neighborhood? that cat is sick, mentally or physically, and is searching for one of it’s final meals. The wardens are justified in putting those cats down – those are despret animals with nothing to lose.

ok September 20, 2013 at 1:18 AM

I wish TLM still had their cougar, sadly she died a few years back! She was very old but such a sweet thing.

The ignorance on here is disgusting as usual. This is exactly why everyone should be educated about animals, especially native wildlife. Cougar attacks are SUPER RARE and I know it’s said a lot, but they’re way more afraid if humans than vise versa. They’re “big cats” but they’re actually quite small. They just want to be left alone and eat the abundance of deer all over the place.

Dennis September 20, 2013 at 1:20 AM

@guest cougars avoid humans because we are noisy and smell bad. They have never learned fear of anything. As long as they have enough of their preferred diet (each adult cat requires 1 deer every 5-7 days), it will ignore other potential sources of food. That preference is established by training of the cubs, and is dependent upon a specialized organ that combines taste and smell – Jacobs Organ – based on what their mother feeds them while they learn to hunt.
make no mistake: they are opportunistic hunters, and have been known to include snakes and porcupines (and sheep and guard dogs) in their diets.
if the competition is too great, or the deer population diminishes (same result) the cats will supplement their diet with whatever is available.
There is no need to fear cats in the wild, partly because interaction with humans is relatively rare.
It would be irresponsible, however, to believe that they are afraid of, or will not attack, humans.
the same advice applies to ‘harmless’ or ‘friendly’ pit bulls 😉

Elwood September 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

@ Dennis #27

“There have been a dozen deaths and dozens of maulings in CA since 1984”

Documentation, please?

Other than your fevered imagination?

Dennis September 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM

@Elwood google cougar attacks
BTW my fevered imagination started when a cougar killed and ate my sister’s neighbor near Cool (by Georgetown) in 1994.
and we all remember the killing and mauling of bicyclists in Palo Alto a few years ago.
point is that DFG still claims there have only been 2 fatalities on the North American continent … ever.
while cougars are my favorite animal (until I retired I spent a week every year backpacking in thr Rubicon studying them), and ‘adopted’ Willow at Folsom (the cub of the 94 cougar), I I note each published attack … and how rapidly they fade from the press, and don’t seem to add to the tally by your honest & trustworthy government.
like I said, attacks are rare (12 in 30 years in a state with a population of 38m?), but they are intentionally underreported.
why the quibbling?
Maybe … just maybe … the environmentalists whose agenda involves endangered species don’t want to acknowledge cougars in California are not endangered.

Elwood September 20, 2013 at 3:19 PM

A bear ate my proctologist’s parents in 1994.

He never recovered from the trauma.

To this day he can’t stand the sight of a bear ass.

Dennis September 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

😉 sell that joke to jellyfinger!

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