Nevermind the Mountain Lion Sightings, “a (deer) buck can and will stomp and possibly kill your pet”

Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

The following warning was sent to the 5D-MPD listserv from a email address:

“Animal control has been notified and confirmed that Mountain Lion sightings have occurred during the past 3 weeks in dc….

Sighting/Safety Tips (Wild Animals)
Citizens should call 911 for any sightings. DO NOT approach
Keep your pets in at night
Kept garbage in containers”

Though the Washington Post says the Mountain Lion sightings are unproven, attached to the MPD listserv warning was also a “Deer Alert”:

“CAUTION: Those walking pets should make sure they are on a leash, and do not allow them to chase after these deer; a buck can and will stomp and possibly kill your pet. Don’t attempt to pet them. They will bite and may have ticks on them that carry Lyme disease. Remain calm and quiet and allow them to pass peaceably. Smaller wild animals should be reported to Animal Control at 311. If you don’t get appropriate responses for an infestation of smaller wild animals, let the Public Works Committee know and we will work with our Association board to bring this to the attention of the city administrators.”

13 Comment

  • The reports of mountain lion sightings in DC are the strangest. Not only have mountain lions not lived natively anywhere near DC in a hundred years, but the species that did once roam the mid-Atlantic has been declared extinct. There are plenty of other smaller cats in the region, but nothing so large as a mountain lion.

    • Your post did not bring me the welcome sigh of relief that you, perhaps, intended. “Plenty of other smaller cats in the region” like WHAT?!!!! Didn’t we have a bear downtown a few weeks ago?

    • I saw a mountain lion in eastern PA some 20 years ago. No question about it – a thigh-high feline with a thick, long tail that had been chasing deer. I was told by a state game guy that the only such cats around were released by knuckleheads who had bought them and found they were in over their heads. I neither believe nor disbelieve that explanation or any other. All I know is I saw one.

      How do you prove a negative, especially when eyewitness accounts are met with, “Oh you’re crazy, they’re extinct!” You can’t know they are extinct and neither can anybody else. What everybody knows is that everybody knows they are extinct. That is good enough for you, but I am left not knowing.

      Mountain lions in DC seems like a real stretch, but I have personally experienced lots of more unlikely things. So why not? We already have coyotes, and if the big cats are following the big game – whitetail deer — and why why wouldn’t they? – they will come to RCP.

      If I lived in Crestwood, I’d keep my dog inside for a while.

      • It’s definitely possible that a mountain lion is roaming the area, but likelihood that it’s an Eastern Mountain Lion, which is almost certainly extinct, is about the same as spotting a sasquatch. There is simply no concrete evidence of either.

    • Mountain lions can have HUGE roaming ranges. An adult male can travel upwards of 25 miles a day. Two years ago, a mountain lion was accidentally killed on a highway in suburban Milford, Connecticut. The autopsy revealed it had originally been tagged in South Dakota. So it’s quite in the realm of possibility that there’s one in DC.

      My theory is that it’s just shopping for cheap real estate before gentrification sets in.

      • Scrillin

        “My theory is that it’s just shopping for cheap real estate before gentrification sets in.”

        What is this, 1996?

        • In terms of gentrification in Southeast DC on the other side of the Anacostia it is.

          • That’s a long way to swim for a big cat …

          • A former colleague of mine bought a house for a song in old Anacostia ten years ago, convinced that it was on the verge of being the next hot neighborhood. It sounds like he’s probably still waiting for that to happen.

  • Maybe it was one of those savannah cats?

  • I agree that the sightings have been somewhat spotty but I have seen a Albino Python locally in the DC area that was over 10 Feet long and I am pretty sure they are not native to the area either. So …..

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