January 17, 2017

[Bumped & Updated] Strange Scenes Inside the 21st Century: A Majestic Leopard Accidentally Takes a Selfie in the Streets of Mumbai


At precisely 3 am on January 15, 2016, a leopard snapped a selfie.

The fact it did this is not unusual; wild animals take a surprising number of selfies. What’s noteworthy here is the leopard snapped its selfie in Mumbai.

The big cat was prowling Aarey Colony, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, when it tripped Nayan Khanolkar's camera. The cat looks almost as surprised as Khanolkhar was. “When I saw a picture of the leopard with a look of inquiry in the direction of the camera, I realized it was special,” he says.

Khanolkar, a native of Mumbai, began photographing urban leopards after one of the big cats killed a seven-year-old in 2013. He started in Aarey Colony, which sits at the edge of Sanjay Gandhi National Park -- which covers 40 square miles and hosts more than 1,000 species, including leopards. It isn’t unusual for them to explore adjacent neighborhoods.

Still, the animals are sly and surreptitious, and difficult to photograph. Khanolkar started his hunt by identifying several locations where leopards often pass through Aarey Colony. For this photo, he set up an infrared motion sensor in an alley, attached a Nikon D700 to a nearby building, and positioned three strobes at various points throughout the area. Khanolkar visited the spot every few days to check his trap. After four months of waiting, he captured a stunning leopard creeping through the scene.

Khanolkar hopes his photos prove leopards can live alongside humans, even in a thriving metropolis like Mumbai. After all, the leopards were there first.

UPDATE FROM 2014: The leopards of Mumbai: life and death among the city's 'living ghosts'

The leopards come close to human settlements looking for food, says SGNP wildlife researcher and conservationist Krishna Tiwari. Around 90% of their diet consists of dogs, rodents and wild boar, with stray dogs - attracted by the garbage dumped on the edge of the park - accounting for 60%.

Mumbai’s leopards have generally coexisted peacefully with their human neighbours. But a spate of attacks a decade ago reinforced the notion of them as bloodthirsty man-eaters. Of the 176 reported attacks between 1991 to 2013, 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004. Nine people were killed by leopards in the month of June 2004 alone.

During this period, leopards rescued from other parts of Maharashtra state were being released in the SGNP. The authorities thought the park would be a haven for leopards, but instead the relocated cats were forced to fight for territory and food. “What we ended up having in the park was stressed-out predators,” says Athreya. “Highly territorial animals who were displaced and had to find food in an unfamiliar place.”

After the relocations stopped in 2006, the number of attacks decreased dramatically and there were no fatalities or injuries from leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs from 2009-11. Yet, since November 2011 there have been six fatalities; the last three deaths were all reported in Aarey Milk Colony, to the south of the SGNP. The most recent was in October 2013, when a seven-year-old boy was killed.

Tiwari, who grew up in a residential building just outside the SGNP, has worked in the park for almost two decades. The encroachment of the city today is unparalleled, he says. Illegal settlements - including nagars (settlements by non-indigenous people), padas (tribal settlements) and high-rise buildings - continue to swell in and around the park. More than 54 illegal settlements and two villages - with a combined population in excess of 250,000 - are inside the park itself.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 17, 2017 8:36 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

From the looks of that place it ought to be called Mudbai.

Posted by: BillH at January 14, 2017 9:19 AM

2 things.
This can hardly be called a selfie.
By killing 7 yo's it is not living alongside humans.
Looks like a movie set and that cat looks fake.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 14, 2017 10:20 AM

I hate big cats. I live in Missouri and overly sensitive conservation policies have helped to increase the population of cougars. I live in a semi rural area not a conservation reserve. Big cats kill pets, destroy property and livestock and with closer association with people they become fearless and can even become deadly.

Fuck em, kill them all.

All the big cats in the world are not worth a single 7 year old.

I hope all big cats go extinct, some things arent meant to last forever.

Bill henry

Posted by: Bill Henry at January 14, 2017 10:23 AM

People are idiotic to accept large predators like this in their cities. No, the cat's not guilty. But, if you allow them to roam and kill humans, you are as guilty as sin. Oust the mayor - kill the cats.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 14, 2017 11:13 AM

My sister lives in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM. In the winter mountain lions will come into town looking for food. People don't leave their children or pets outside to play.

Posted by: Ray at January 14, 2017 11:27 AM

"I hate big cats. Fuck em, kill them all."

Thanks for playing, asshole.

Posted by: ashjiodrg at January 14, 2017 2:59 PM

‘I Won’t Apologize’: Toby Keith Defends His Decision to Perform at Donald Trump’s Inauguration


ps. Would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

Posted by: ST at January 14, 2017 4:34 PM

How dumb of the photographer to believe that we wouldn't spot Jimmy Durante inside the leopard skin -- the schnozzola gives him away!
At this time, and due to the immaturity of the audience, I won't go into what the Shadow nose.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at January 14, 2017 7:15 PM

Alligators similarly intersect people in communities in FL. If possible they relocate them to the depths of the everglades and that's the way I prefer it.

Why kill an animal if you don't have to?

In the 40 years I lived in FL and the 1000's of hours out in the sticks I only ever encountered/surprised gators a couple times and each time the gator hauled ass. One incident 7 of them turned and laid rubber and plunged into a creek. For distances up to 100' or so they WILL catch you if they have a mind too. They are unbelievably quick.

I mean, there are so many 2 legged assholes running loose out there that need killin'.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 14, 2017 7:15 PM

"Why kill an animal if you don't have to?"

To show what a badass rightist alpha they wannabe. You know how the psycho left virtue signals? This is today's earnest rightist pushback after nine Budweisers and a couple sacks of Carl's Jr.

Posted by: iuadfrhg at January 15, 2017 3:20 AM

No, this "they were here first," crap doesn't work for me. We have guns, traps, intellect and science, real useful science like pheromones, behavior predictions, not just useless political claptrap (climate change). If they are a threat to us, our children, our food supply or our individual existence, (from virus to elephants) we're completely justified in killing them, at least locally if not inducing extinction (small pox, polio).

Posted by: Guaman at January 15, 2017 3:36 AM

"We have guns, traps, intellect and science ... we're completely justified..."

Well, 2.5 out of five ain't bad, huh Elmer?

Posted by: sdfhjkg at January 15, 2017 6:41 AM

I would happily feed every marxist democrat to leopards or lions all day long.

Leopards love to scavenge in secret, lions are generalists who happily kill for fun and tigers are elitists who would, unless they were wounded and/or starving, turn up their noses at the stench of a liberal, so I wouldn't bother them with the task of killing or eating those vermin.

On the subject of the culinary habits of leopards in India, I highly recommend Jim Corbett's "The Maneaters of Kumaon". As a hunter who focused on finding and killing man eating cats, I consider him the go-to guy when it comes to understanding their nature.

Posted by: Jack at January 15, 2017 8:52 AM

Personally, in all my many years as an outdoorsman, a climber, and in the past 15 years or so as a hunter, I have only had the privilege of seeing a wild cat once. That was a small panther. Here in WA, we do see tracks frequently, but I have yet to spy one. They are not to be toyed with, and we are under no illusions whatsoever about their place in the world.
I do have a bit of knowledge about predators, though, as I have disallowed enough of them from my local area. I have lost count of how many. I have also observed very closely the interplay between predators of different species, as well as their prey and how they behave as a result of predators.
The bigger predators displace the lesser ones, however the numbers of mid-sized predators are large, and they are always in the way and under foot. The whole lot of them are sneaky bastards. The Indians used to call coyotes: "The Jokers." I've watched how they shadow around, and the term "ghost" is completely appropriate.
What the Mumbais have in their midst is none other than a night-stalking, spotted ghost, whose whole purpose in life is killing and stealth. They are interlocked with others of their species, and BTW they also create a habitat where the mid-sized species will bleed in to take the easier food. I would guess that where these leopards are, there are also wolves, and my estimate of them is the same: they live to kill (and breed).
Pull your head out. The update indicates that the population of humans in Mumbai is out-of-control, and the sane thing to do is to address that (with sound financial and social policies), and disabuse the wild predators of coming around.
Long comment. Here's what I wanted to say: if you kill the leopards enough, they will start to get the message that they are not wanted there. Controlling numbers is a losing strategy. They just backfill their losses with bigger litters. Quit trucking them around to other locales: it only screws up the predator numbers in the new place. Instead of having fewer leopards, they'll have more wolves, coyotes or foxes. Or whatever the mix of wild dogs is in India. Kill them, and all the jokers get the message that they are unwanted. It's the only way.
Bullshit on not killing them. Observations prove it doesn't work.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 15, 2017 10:33 AM

Looks like we have some trolls! HAHA! Sounds like they are still sore about Hillary losing. Too rich.

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at January 15, 2017 10:52 AM

I doubt the culturally aware intellectual Snakepit Kansas is a touch too polarized and dim to recognize either a troll or a Hillary supporter is in this context, but bagging on rightist morons kneejerking toward their full, erect, keyboard-alpha status as the fear-angered king of beasts isn't that thing.

Posted by: sdiorhg at January 15, 2017 11:22 AM

"Pull your head out. The update indicates that the population of humans in Mumbai is out-of-control, and the sane thing to do is to address that (with sound financial and social policies), and disabuse the wild predators of coming around."

It must have taken a lot to pull all that contradiction together, Casey, even with your renown outdoorsmanship to illuminate international social science. And I especially liked "disabuse". It ranks right up there with slaughterhouses being "husbandry" and gratuitously blowing holes in things running away, "sport".

But that does raise a question: When you have the former - and a Costco membership and an F150 - do you still call this so-called sport "stewardship", what with all the "food" it necessarily provides your edge-of-the-frontier clan teetering forever on the brink of survival?

And no, contrary to ole Armpit Snakewater here, that isn't the defeated Democrat partisan asking. It's just as easily a somewhat wiser, rurally-raised, aging christian constitutionalist seeing through what the self-styled Arby's cheezesteak 'Murican has made of himself and his proud identity posturing lately.

Posted by: sdfg at January 15, 2017 11:35 AM

If you are going to call yourself Christian, then please have the decency and respect to capitalize it. Also, wise one, ease up on the run on sentences.

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at January 16, 2017 4:07 AM

That was funny. Let me school you a bit. Me: reasons, arguments and propositions. You: invectives, names, insider-references for your side. OK. I'll admit to some weak arguments re: food. I wasn't talking about food, though, so you seem to be straw-manning that one.
Before you come around here, look at the letters on the names of the posters. Mostly old timers with 'sperience, son.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 16, 2017 8:15 AM

Funny how the most beautiful of animals are predators.

Posted by: pbird at January 16, 2017 9:02 AM

Leopards, far more so than other large cats including mountain lions in North America, are primarily scavengers. Buzzards, if you will with spotted coats, four legs and a tail and they will literally dine and grow plump and sleek on offal that any other animal would simply avoid.

Large numbers of cities in India and in Africa are not frequented by leopards and the reason for that is that the cities are "somewhat" clean, i.e., cleaner than cities like Mumbai, aka Bombay; a burg that is widely known to be, in most areas, an above ground cess pool.

Indian authorities know this but the task of cleaning up that sprawling area/city of roughly 20 million, with its rancidity, death and dying is beyond the desire or the scope of the government's ability so as they say....that ain't gonna happen.

And then there is the Indian himself; as far as East is from West in his views on life, kismet and karma so, well meaning non-Indians would do well to help him if you can but don't try to change him.

As for the leopards, any efforts to trap or kill them had best be accomplished on first effort because of several reasons, viz, they primarily move about and hunt at night, their ranges of activity are always large and they seldom remain in the area of a kill unless it is completely undisturbed and they are highly intelligent, enough so to avoid traps.

Posted by: Jack at January 16, 2017 9:44 AM

Replying selectively just avoids the unreconcilable, Casey. If you want to get into fallacy like you say, there you go. You also telltale double-down on that Davey Crockett act as some renewed appeal to the great wisdom of ego, or as you prefer it, 'experience'. That appeal to image didn't work the first time.

So now that you've wasted our time, it's simple: That "disabusing" dope of yours runs straight into your other contradiction, the one where you inadvertently but simultaneously blame these devalued animals of yours for reckless human 3rd world expansion or thereabouts.

Protip: Be the man you want to be and pick one. Stop tossing around nifty new words when you mean to just reframe. Stand for principle: Killing animals isn't as much of a badge of courage as it is an unconscious lifestyle signal, is it?

Posted by: ogj at January 16, 2017 11:48 AM

I occupy the status quo, which you have described as "Davy Crockett." Culling predators and hunting are time-honored activities that have not vanished from the Earth. You cannot make the case for the elimination of hunting. You bear the burden of proof, troll whose name is withheld and yet who speaks of the authority of personality.
I have not contradicted myself in the least.
Jack: well said. Big predators such as big cats and bears do range as much as a hundred miles. They also stay in place for periods of time, and for reasons you give. They can still be hunted, and, yes, it is challenging. The Indian authorities must hire expert hunters, and ones who will use unfair means such as cameras and radios. Agreed: clean up the filthy streets.
I cannot abide the deaths of these younger Indians, although some do.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 16, 2017 1:06 PM

Jack, remember I didn't call for reducing numbers, which is a losing strategy with predators. However, if they know they are unwanted (hunted), they will displace. It's not a zero sum game. Thanks.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 16, 2017 1:09 PM

"I occupy the status quo, which you have described as 'Davy Crockett.'"

You play to your view of your cornpone mystique, a mark of ego, not position. If you had a position you'd unravel what you said. As for the status quo, that's a statistical improbability but besides the point.

"Culling predators and hunting are time-honored activities that have not vanished from the Earth."

The sun rises in the morning and the wind blows too. What's that got to do with your contradicting yourself?

"You cannot make the case for the elimination of hunting."

I didn't. I made the case you contradict yourself and disguise things that amuse you behind rhetorical ruses, renaming them to reflect on yourself. Now we see you also make strawmen, which coming from your previous accusation is contradictory too.

"You bear the burden of proof,"

No, actually you bear the burden of making sense of all that.

"troll whose name is withheld"

Pose whose position has evaporated.

"and yet who speaks of the authority of personality."

The huh? I 'speak with the authority' of reason.

"I have not contradicted myself in the least."

If you're going to harpoon modernity with your outdoorsy anecdotes, peppering your tales with condescending implications about cultures, animals, problems, and issues of survival you have no experience with, at least stand those things up in the light and admit that they're different. Even unsuitable. Otherwise all you've done is strike a pose you couldn't possibly if all that were outside *your* door.

Oh, and you want "proof"? Solve India's "social policies", as you put it. Or are they too primitive? Or reconcile that with the stupidity you project on others here while you make the blinding observation that if you kill all the leopards they'll all be dead. I'm curious; just who is it you think you're dealing with, *son*.

Before you get angsty about that, remember that this says little of the dumbass faux traditionalism many modern day fast food 'frontiersmen' try and project, in their case on America and on a land that had a completely different orientation a scent seventy years ago. I'm not putting you in that camp, even.

As for India and the leopards that have been there a hundred times longer than history, the only thing that needs 'disabusing' is the particular ethos that purports to speak for such cultures, the one you borrowed.

Posted by: sriogj at January 16, 2017 6:02 PM

I see you changed your identification. Interesting.
Your comment is impossible to follow. As I always observe with the anti-hunting argument, you appeal to "we all feel this way." In fact, we don't all feel your way. Hunting is viable, legal, and necessary.
For the readers: this is about the 3rd or 4th time this past year I have had a lib say: "you bear the burden of proof," after I state the normal rules of debate. Hunting and culling predators is the traditional mode - status quo. Arguing for an end to it is the affirmative argument; that is it is a proposal. This viewpoint must be proven - the rationale for change.
Fark, I hate these lowbrows. Cleaning my guns, now...

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 16, 2017 10:19 PM

Did I start all of this with the fuck em kill them all?

It was an admittedly hyperbolic comment intended to re-frame the issue towards the intrinsic value of human life and personal property over an agenda driven, leftist, Malthusian and overtly naturalistic narrative shoved down the throats of civilization over the last 50 years.

Its the "pristine wilderness ... man is a blight on the earth" smell to this worldview of "save all the (fill in the blank)" at the expense of civilization that makes me want to puke.

I have news for all the "nameless" remoryas that hitch a ride on the bellys of productive men of the west...

Mother Nature wants you dead...

Civilization nurtures life.. usually..

Posted by: Bill Henry at January 16, 2017 10:58 PM

"I see you changed your identification. Interesting."

Stick with that, Davey. Actually, I just scatter in some characters, but if I were you, I'd stake a victory on it.

"Your comment is impossible to follow."

It's all there. Your logic is impossible to follow because it isn't there at all. So you're still not standing behind it.

"I always observe with the anti-hunting argument, you appeal to "we all feel this way." In fact, we don't all feel your way."

Of course all of that's just you projecting. That's you characteristically jamming the things you don't care for into your usual cartoon mold. Any perception at all shows it's your mighty feels that inform your purported argument and it's my reason expecting you support both.

"Hunting is viable, legal, and necessary."

Nobody said it wasn't, Fallacist. What's annoying is the simplistic pride and how people like you drape the world in your vaunted ethics. (Nietzsche would call you a "master moralist"; someone who thinks his morality is the noble work of his own class or in your case, ego.) But that's just another type of cartoon, a myth, the other one you draw in order to neatly sort everybody into your simplistic identity buckets so you can keep them straight and polarized. Just like leftists, I'll add. Caught in it, you'll probably appeal to the biblical authority to be just as you are or something, another appeal to emotion and a denial of things you've never really thought out, the instinctive reverse of which you're evidently certain sure vindicate your lifestyle.

Like I say, that's a self-referential pose. And the supporting 'logic' for it is really, really circular. That's the difference between us, that and I don't use fallacy and change words and use cartoons except as counters for such cartoonists.

I also understand that the vaunted nobility-of-one stems from assets fallacists and posers probably can't grasp either, things like West's literally incomprehensible debt and how we owe our entire way of life to its failing leverage. See the difference? I see things objectively, in and for their own sake. Cartoonists and posers see them as their own reflections which is where you originally came in.

"For the readers: this is about the 3rd or 4th time this past year I have had a lib say: "you bear the burden of proof," after I state the normal rules of debate."

Judas, but you are purposefully obtuse. First, you have no idea who you've engaged (and when told won't listen), second, this burden of proof thing you've just somehow converted from your own doomed fallacy into what you hope will be taken as a challenge, and third, 'the rules of debate' are more of your transparent rhetoric 'for the readers', hoping nobody notices anything but that. More posing.

Debating you, if that's what this is, is like debating a child. They shout 'hey everybody, look...' too, as they make up some nonsense on the schoolyard after they've lost.

"Hunting and culling predators is the traditional mode - status quo."

Being a dick about things you can't begin to understand - including not having the remotest solution for people not like you and who you'll never know, much less one that transfers the myths you feel about yourself into their objective national policy - hasn't to do with this undefined 'hunting and fishing' you've courageously retreating into. Judging them with your preferred, emotional, retail lifestyle is almost as ignorant as it is arrogant.

"Arguing for an end to it is the affirmative argument; that is it is a proposal. This viewpoint must be proven - the rationale for change."

The viewpoint opposite your trainwreck is proved on its face: that whatever it is it's not yet proposed, that being the only rational point we can come to now, and from here. The rest is just you bathing yourself in your own reflected light, hoping nobody's going to force an analysis.

Right about there we can highlight the central error of your whole schtick. When you make dumb assertions you don't get to simultaneously leave them completely unsupported AND expect they be this burden-of-proof standard you think you're on about. You have to choose one, obviously, which you can't and you have not. And that's where I happened to come in and that explains how all this other stuff is just your own noise. Kinda like:

"Fark, I hate these lowbrows. Cleaning my guns, now..."

Some people live charmed lives. Somehow among the ignorance, the arrogance, and the dishonesty, they're left alone enough to enjoy the dingy temporal entertainments they've been given, thinking it the birthright of the power of their intellect and the wonder of their station instead of the petard it really is. All of that is just their limited velocity, and it then, aside from being pretty much how we define lowbrow, becomes their albatross, that and their grasping lifestyle signalling.

Posted by: sghui at January 17, 2017 4:34 AM

An irritating man is one who claims that the solution he adopts has been reached in an impersonal way, the one who does not want to take responsibility for what he adopts.

Philosophy is the art of lucidly formulating problems. Inventing solutions is not an occupation of serious intellects.

-Nicolás Gómez Dávila (well before he got going on the idiocy of presenting oneself as savior of others.)

Posted by: dhjuiog at January 17, 2017 5:43 AM

Would this be a bad time to mention what a nice coat that leopard would make?

Posted by: Nori at January 17, 2017 5:47 AM


Placing hunting pressure on large predators will affect their behavior and cause them, on occasion, to vacate a favorite haunt, but you have to keep in mind their nature.

These big cats move and hunt primarily at night and historically, in their natural habitat, i.e., native forests of India, hundreds of men who have hunted them for years on a one on one basis have often failed to even catch a glimpse of them, much less kill one....or let's refine that to say....the "man eater" they were chasing.

More so, sprawling urban areas like Mumbai with its hundreds of miles of sewers, narrow winding streets, parks, gardens, garbage dumps and abandoned areas, offer any intrepid leopard who has had contact with humans, a wonderful setting in which to hunt and survive.

It usually only takes one time for a leopard to get the message and they will hunt, kill quietly, eat, leave the kill and never return because they know the danger.

The solution to the problem of marauding cats, and leopards in particular, has been plaguing humans since their first negative interaction and even though the news we read doesn't usually report it, leopards and in some cases tigers, kill people on a very regular basis all over India but more particularly in the rural and mountainous areas of that country and in surrounding countries that have great cat habitat.

Some of these felines kill an astounding number of people; in the hundreds, before they are killed...usually accidentally....or they simply die of old age.

Attacks and killings by man eating cats isn't an odd occurrence at all and again, you would probably enjoy Corbett's book. You can also probably find an online copy of his excellent tale: "The Maneating Leopard of Rudraparag".

Corbett was probably the most experienced hunter of man eating cats who ever lived and it took him years to kill that particular pussy.

Posted by: Jack at January 17, 2017 8:39 AM

Heh heh. Gee, you know a lot of words, soog hooey. Maybe place 2 but not 3 in a row, then a comma, and sometimes give us a transition like a semi colon or even a dash. Seriously.
I can't understand much of what you're saying, Soog. You show an ignorance of debate rules, and I'll be damned if I can figure out your rationale for not hunting these leopards in Mumbai.
It's a fun thread if only because I get to be coherent and watch you twist in the wind. Part of me wants you to go away, because you are so tedious to read, and part of me wants to see how you debate important stuff like walls against immigrants, and Syria policy.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 17, 2017 8:40 AM

I know about these 'rules of debate', Appleseed, but if you just won't follow the logic middle-schoolers already do this could be the wrong audience. See, I can no more disprove your rhetorical phlogiston than I can any other non-entity. You just have me there.

As for 'Syria' and 'immigration' policy, here's another convenience: Claim victory already. Otherwise we'll probably end up in those other Burning Republican Issues of Our Times, flag-burning, vet benefits, and how Social Security really is constitutional.

But you still can't have it both ways. I realize the likes of a Wm. Wilberforce or a Dávila can't outweigh a molecule of a Harpoon Klhan, but at least minds like theirs accepted what they don't know. You have read Dávila, right?

That said, Casey - and I say this in all seriousness and sufficient respect - I get where you're coming from. I just don't find that as the affectation it largely is that it holds water, and it's that latter thing it must if it's valid. I have little doubt you could, in some idealized, culturally-superior way, please yourself with the fruits of your 'culling' among a people of a billion and a quarter souls with roots 10,000 years deep. But if that is so, maybe have the bearing to frame it as such, because they have cubic miles of minds the match of yours.

Why is this a problem? Keyboard hoo-rahing generally ends badly. Look how well you protected your own rights over here, for example.

Posted by: shyug at January 17, 2017 10:50 AM

Jack: I will put that book on my reading list. I have never hunted big cats, but I have done a fair amount of predator hunting and have observed their behavior. What you say is, according to my research, very true.
Please keep in mind that my experience shows that when the predator knows he's being hunted, he gets as small as possible. Enough hunting pressure, and he will leave, and this includes the situation where the hunter may not ever get to see the predator in real life. The hunter gets trail cam shots, finds scat, footprints and kills. But, the ghostlike leopard is deuced hard to see. I have to hand it to the great cats, they are just that much better at invisibility than wolves, coyotes and foxes. OTOH, my MIL did spy a cougar on the hardtop road, and she described his length as being from the shoulder to the center line. This was the same fellow whose tracks I found in the snow. A few years back, I saw bobcat or lynx tracks on my property as he was hunting deer. The whole story was told because of snow and easily read tracks.
The coyote (my favorite predator), is known here as the prairie ghost. I have watched as he can turn broadside, become visible, and then easily become completely unseeable as he turns away. Clever and talented devil. I have also watched how he hunts deer; my estimate of the predators is different from that which says they scavenge. While it is true they go for the easy pickings, I have seen enough hunting, by coyote and bear, to tell you with confidence that they kill much more than they get credit for. Bears do not survive on berries, as the public imagines.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 17, 2017 10:56 AM

"...known here as the prairie ghost..."

Speaking of ghosts, heh-heh

They are here, all around, just as the wind, but never seen. In the 11 years I have been here in the sticks I have seen them but twice. Once, at the end of my driveway at the top of the hill, standing there in the moonlight watching me. He saw me before I saw him. I blinked and he was gone.

The next time was in the forest behind our house in the late morning mist, at a full gallop through heavy wood. Smaller than I imagined, like a scraggly german shepherd, leaping the deadwood and downfall, fleet of foot, up the steep hill and then gone.

I hear the ghosts nightly, they say they mimic themselves at the same time, one sounds like many, a warbling kind of self echo. Ghostly...

The joking ghosts haven't harmed us or our's so I leave them alone and appreciate them just as they are. That's why we moved here - preferring animals over people most of the time.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 17, 2017 7:00 PM

Tonight on Drudge: wolves on the streets of Paris (pay no attention say the officials), and a rabid bobcat in Sedona.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 17, 2017 10:33 PM

We have a 12' wide roofed deck that completely surrounds our house. If I stepped out onto that deck and saw a coyote on it I'd stamp my foot at it. If it didn't bolt I'd step back in and grab the 870 that is above both front and back doors. If it was still there when I stepped back out I'd put a round in the air and instantly jack another into the chamber. If it remained there would be a mess to clean up and some railing and deck boards to replace. I'd give the animal the benefit of the doubt but not at personal sacrifice. Same way I'd treat a strange human that had invaded our privacy.

My current problem is the more modern version of lupe laru, the neighbors two wayward mutts. Today is trash day and if today is the 5th week in a row they attack our trash words will be exchanged and they will be very short and to the point. I really do hate confronting people over their errant behavior and seldom do. But when their uncaring attitude of others extends beyond the point of no return an adult must step in and take command. Our kid is grown and out of the house for some 18 years now and I detest getting yanked back into the *daddy* role.

I'm at the point in my life now that I should be sitting in a rocker on the porch with a blanky on my cold skinny assed legs puffin my pipe and sippin that shine, and reading Readers Digest and the Farmers Almanac not supervising other peoples children. Dogs do what their owners allow.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 18, 2017 4:19 AM

Ghostsniper, do what you like, but my experience is the coyote knows when you don't kill him with the gun. Then, he comes back at dusk, zig-zagging and in a low crawl, to fuck with you even more.
He'd be more afraid if he thought you were hunting him. He loses respect when you don't hit him with the shot. Trust me on this.
Good to respect life. Bad to tolerate predators. My say.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at January 18, 2017 8:48 AM

@Casey, my neighbor has a range with 8 lanes and in any ordinary week several hundred rounds of various calibers are sent down range. For the past year my wife has been urging me to build my own range so I don't have to go to the neighbors.

We do guns here, cause we like to.

I suspect the amount of gunfire around here is why I've only seen coyotes on our property twice in 10 years. They ain't stupid.

I was being facetious to make a point on my standings regarding wild animals. I understand them and mostly leave them alone as long as they do likewise. If they violate that unstated trust they will pay a penalty.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 19, 2017 4:19 AM