Backyard Puma

Yesterday Yasaman Shakeri, a biologist from UC Santa Cruz left a note on my door saying a mountain lion she has been studying spent last Monday night in the woods behind my house. The mountain lion, named 16M was thought to have feasted on a young fawn. Today Yasaman, her colleague and I followed the gps coordinates to the site of the meal. Needless to say when you live in the Santa Cruz mountains living with pumas is part of the experience. One I find quite cool.

With Reo, my aussie shepherd’s help, we quickly located the site where 16M ate his young prey. It was sad to see what was left of the young fawn. I have been watching the female deers this spring and the young fawns are a delight to see. I was encuraged to learn that there are thought to be around 80 to 100 pumas in the Santa Cruz mountains and that their survival appears to be stable.


16M is seven years old and is a big boy weighing in at over 135 pounds. He has also survived being hit by a car. His territory is quite large and he easily travels more then 20 miles in a day hunting and defending his territory from other male lions. A while back I bought a hunting camera (I don’t hunt) that can be attached to a tree in hopes of capturing pumas, bobcats, coyotes and the like. Now that 16M seems to like my place I’m going to set it back up and hopefully capture a few pics this year.

To learn more checkout the Bay Area Puma Project.

Backyard Puma

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