The Lions of Tsavo-Thousand Oaks

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ChrisKavanaugh

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Somtimes people look upon bushcraft as an escape or hobby, giving little worth to it in daily life. Well, Today I'm out helping a nieghboring ranchhand on a sizable property near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. We have a major storm system dumping 15" per hour ( measured flow, not cumulative) in a series of fronts. So, We're out and observe liontracks. Only this isn't a native american lion. It's big, waaaaay bigger. Animal Control and Fish and game come out and confirm it's either an african Lion or Tiger. Tracking produces a very brief glimpse of something disappearing into the scrub. So, live traps have been set out, the news services are all excited and people are locking up pets and securing livestock. Theres another heavy storm moving in at midnight. We think the cat is probably very close still, the weather and surrounding development making this a prime hideout. I'm about to go out and post a watch with my friend between the horsebarn and the one approach from the canyon it vanished into. The livetraps are ready. We have thermos' of coffee and tea and a concealed shelter. I have my SMLE with 215 grain softpoints. He has a 12 guage shotgun with 00 Buck. Hopefully the lion will be caught alive without harm to itself or anyone. THIS WAS NOT IN THE BUSCRAFT BROCHURE :yikes:
 

ChrisKavanaugh

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Well, to tie in with another current post our shelter was a combination of a siltarp and natural materials creating a rainproof blind. Has anyone ever gone out in a storm and noted the quietness of animals as they too bed down? Well this was spooky- it was somehow doubly quiet and I saw the coyotes high tailing it for new haunts. We sat silent until daylight. My friend's nice and shiny shotgun was allready developing surface rust!He just stared openmouthed as I cycled 10 rounds out of my 'funny brit rifle' magazine. " You really think that little ol' cartridge will stop a lion Chris?" I replied it worked well on Messershmidts so why not? I must loan him my post's title reference. Some big cats illegally kept were recently seized, but this one doesn't seem part of that group. The local college has an exotic wildlife programme, but no kitties have gone amis. So it's likely another illegal pet dumped or escaped. I just hope it is caught quickly without harm. The poor thing probably can't hunt well and if at all accustomed to people may blunder into someone. Every Hemingway wannabee is quietly packing something BIG and the local store is sold out of .458 Win mag and the like. We transferred the horses to another stable. I left the shelter up. Maybe the lion will bed down there and enjoy my offering of jerky. :Crazy_071
 

RovingArcher

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Jun 27, 2004
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Monterey Peninsula, Ca., USA
:eek:): Strangers things have been known to happen.

I'm not surprised the yotes were heading for the hills. I've seen them scatter when they sensed a Mt. Lion or bear, so a really big cat would get them moving fast I bet.

I'm with you. Hope the big kitty gets rounded up in a live trap or with dart and given a nice home.
 

woodrat

New Member
Dec 31, 2004
124
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Oregon U.S.A.
if your gonna shoot something with that cannon , shoot the idiot that caused him to be in that situation, I'm sure he would rather be elsewhere. it never fails , humans do stupid stuff and nature suffers for it. ever heard of a tranquilizer gun. nothing personal agianst you and your buddy but if you have to kill him please don't post it i'd rather not know.
 

Tvividr

Forager
Jan 13, 2004
232
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Norway
www.gjknives.com
While I hope that the kitten will be caught alive without harm to it or anyone else, I would strongly suggest your mate use something else than 00 Buck in his scattergun. This will only make the kitten pretty annoyed and angry - this also applies to the smaller spotted kittens as well ! Believe me, I've seen people mauled by iNgwe due to almost no penetration from 00 Buck.
Rather use slugs like the German Brenneke type or the South African Penetrator instead of the American Foster type of slugs (which is more prone to deformation, and won't penetrate as well as the Brenneke and SA Penetrator slugs).
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,657
743
Bedfordshire
I've seen people mauled by iNgwe
Errrrr. Is that, you saw the after-effects of the mauling....or were you a spectator at the event? :shock:

I think I read that 00 didn't do much more than annoy at more than 30 yards, and that closer too No4 was better due to the more efficient use of cartridge capacity (more lead, less air) :?:


No fresh news on the lion?
 

Pict

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Jan 2, 2005
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Central Brazil
clearblogs.com
Chris,

I'd second the recommendation on slugs in a shotgun.. OO buck would kill a big cat but you really want to STOP him and slugs have that kind of bone breaking power. My first two rounds in a pump would be slugs and then maybe buck, but I wouldn't feel bad with all slugs.

Have you tried live bait, I mean other than yourselves? Try a live pig or a small yippy dog staked out and lonely.

We had a mountain lion in SE Pennsylvania that was eating deer and pets. Of course the PA Game Commission said it wasn't a lion, it never is a lion, even if they caught one they'd ID it as something else! The theory was that it was an escaped pet. People have seen it but it has never been captured. Good hunting. Mac
 

Tvividr

Forager
Jan 13, 2004
232
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Norway
www.gjknives.com
C_Claycomb said:
Errrrr. Is that, you saw the after-effects of the mauling....or were you a spectator at the event? :shock:
Both. I know a couple of guys (one PH in SA, and two trackers also in SA) who have been mauled and I have seen their scars. I also saw the mauling of one of the trackers. I was visiting a friends hunting concession to help setting up treestands and digging blinds for bowhunters. One evening while having a late supper with the trackers in camp, we heard a lot of noise in the chicken shead (the guy kept some chickens as supplementary food), and one of the trackers went to chase off the "jackal". Just as he got to the shead we heard the assumed "jackal" growling, and we all jumped up shouting leopard! and iNgwe! My friend grabbed his .470 double, I a 375 and the second tracker a panga and we all ran to the first tracker and the shead. By the time we got there, the tracker was on the ground with a big leopard above him. My friend fired a shot in the air, while I tried to aim at the leopard but couldn't get a clear shot and therefore didn't pull the trigger. It was dark, but the camp had a generator powered light system.
The cat reacted by jumping around the shead and into the dark quicker than quick. Fortunately the tracker (a matabele named Sipho) was not hurt "too bad". He had a bite in his shoulder, and long tears from the claws on his stomach and thigh / leg (although his wounds later turned septic, they healed pretty quick anyway. Mainly because we got him to a bush clinic at Phalaborwa within less than an hour). No shots were actually fired directly at the cat, and we saw him a couple of days later in a tree close to the camp.
The other two maulings I didn't see. One of them (the PH) was a hunting accident due to a German clients poor shooting, and the second happened while the tracker was a kid herding his fathers cattle and goats. The guy was 8 years old at the time, when he and his younger brother (7 yrs) was mauled when they unexpectedly came upon a leopard that had killed one of the goats. The guy had a stiff and very thin left arm, due to torn muscle and sinews in his upper arm (the muscle was completely torn off during the mauling). His face was in pretty bad shape too (one eye was missing and lots of scars), and he had never had much luck with the girls...
He is however one of the best trackers that I have ever had the pleasure to work and share a campfire with.

Edit: Forgot to mention that before the mauling involving the PH, he had shot two shots with 00 Buck at the cat from a distance of about 7-8 meters to point blank range (both shots were good and direct hits). An autopsy done on the cat afterwards showed that the pellets had glanced off the skull (no penetration at all), and those that had hit the chest (a full frontal shot to the chest just before the cat was on top of him) had only penetrated about 5-6 cm max. This was a big male leopard of some 80 kgs. The cat mauled him badly, then turned on the tracker who shot it with the PH's 375 H&H.

ChrisKavanaugh said:
...... Maybe Lynn Thompson of COLD STEEL will show up with one of his Masai lion spears to show off.
Wouldn't like to see that show (off). Think it could be quite messy :shock:
 

Beer Monster

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Aug 25, 2004
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With the gnu!
Yep, Leopards can be very very dangerous when cornered or wounded. They also have the technique for killing primates (... including humans! :yikes: ) down to a "T" as they have a particular taste for Baboons. Basically they try to grab you round the head/neck and kick with their rear feet (claws out) in effect disembowling you!!! Not pleasant. If any of you have a pet cat then you've probably seen them do a similar thing with a ball of string!

I know a guy who owns a lodge on the edge of the Kalahari. He's had about 3 pet dogs in the last few years ....... all taken by leopard. The last dog was taken in his bedroom while they slept (he left the window open)!

A friend of mine recently told me that leopards around Johannesburg are becoming increasingly bold and are venturing into the city at night to feed on the stray dogs, pets and generally scavenge. He thinks that eventually they will become like urban foxes in the UK! ...... now theres a reason to keep your kids in at night!
 

shinobi

Settler
Oct 19, 2004
517
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48
Eastbourne, Sussex.
www.sussar.org
Beer Monster said:
Yep, Leopards can be very very dangerous when cornered or wounded. They also have the technique for killing primates (... including humans! :yikes: ) down to a "T" as they have a particular taste for Baboons. Basically they try to grab you round the head/neck and kick with their rear feet (claws out) in effect disembowling you!!! Not pleasant. If any of you have a pet cat then you've probably seen them do a similar thing with a ball of string!!
Or my forearm :yikes:

Martin
 

C_Claycomb

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Oct 6, 2003
5,657
743
Bedfordshire
The grab and kick isn't a hunting technique for leopard, they reserve it for people who have annoyed them in some way. Hunting primates they aim to bite into the skull, neck or throat to give as fast a kill as possible, fast and silent.

Leopard are renound for liking the culinary qualities of dogs. Also renound for getting into and out of dwellings without waking the occupants.

In any case, a lion that has escaped in the US probably isn't going to have all the fine techniques for hunting, or dealing with pesky sportsmen, that a wild one would. Hope that they catch it before it gets into any trouble.
 

Beer Monster

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Aug 25, 2004
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With the gnu!
C_Claycomb said:
The grab and kick isn't a hunting technique for leopard, they reserve it for people who have annoyed them in some way. Hunting primates they aim to bite into the skull, neck or throat to give as fast a kill as possible, fast and silent.
Makes sense. I must admit I've only ever heard about it done to humans! Theres nothing like hearing it's rasping cough like call to make your hair stand on end! Last time I was in Botswana we parked up under a tree to view some game was sunning itself nearby and as we moved off we looked up ................. and saw this:-



It had been sat there right above the open vehicle quitely observing us for the past 45mins! :shock: :)

Having said that we were in a vehicle and it isn't until you get out and start walking that you really feel how low down on the food chain you actually are!
 

ChrisKavanaugh

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the latest update is that the cat crossed the local freeway that forms a T with the Reagan library road Saturay night. Big bait traps are out, a helicopter with infrared is patroling at night and people are acting like idiots. We figure it's @ 400 lbs and could be any one of the big cats. It most probably is a released pet and naturally timid around people anyway. I just worry about it in this heavy rain we're having and all the idiots with overpowered magnum rifles. This is almost a local tradition anyway. Many years ago Thousand Oaks had a local amusement center called Jungleland. It was operated by a couple who formerly supplied exotic animals to the movie industry. A black panther escaped and was never recovered. People still claim to see itgoing on 40 years later! We weren't nearly as developed back then; sheep herds were common, lots of wildlife and open spaces. Hmmm, maybe some of these latte sucking asphalt pounders will move out in fear and.......... :Crazy_071