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While people are often afraid of a lion, killing a lion does not help.
While people are often afraid of a lion, killing a lion does not help. Dr. Martin said that “if you kill one male, two will takes its place”. It becomes an open territory to be claimed by another young male looking to establish his own territory. The good news is that humans are not on their menu. Photo: pxhere.com-Creative Commons CC0.

Lions In Our Midst

Jan 29, 2020
by Lyndi Brown

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Lions In Our Midst

By Chuck Lucas

On January 2, 2020, the people of Penngrove and environs gathered at the Penngrove Social Firemen's clubhouse for a presentation of “Living with lions” by Dr. Quinton Martins of the Audubon Research Ranch (ACR website: https://www.egret.org/living-with-lions). Dr. Martins is a world-wide expert on large cats and brought his knowledge to share with the 70 attendees. 

The gathering was in response to the recent killing of a llama and a large goat in the Sonoma Mountain area around Lichau/Cold Springs,  taken down by P5, the name of the alleged perpetrator. 

Lions (Puma Concolor) populate our area. P5 has a wide range, up to 200 sq. miles. P5 was age 8 when he was collared in April 2017. The males will travel much further than the females. Females range is about 80 sq. miles. The male and the female are polyamorous. They usually don't stay in one place very long. The females will usually kill more prey than the male. The males will kill another male's cubs in a territorial dispute. Lions are extremely important in keeping nature in balance by keeping the size of the deer population in check. 75% of the lion's diet are deer. 

Male lions are solitary while a female can be seen with her cubs. Photo: pxhere.com-Creative Commons CC0.

While people are often afraid of a lion, killing a lion does not help. Dr. Martin said that “if you kill one male, two will takes its place”. It becomes an open territory to be claimed by another young male looking to establish his own territory. Male lions are solitary while a female can be seen with her cubs. 

We are living in the lions’ traditional domain. They have been here for at least 10,000 years or more. We are living in their Costco. This is where they shop for their food. The good news is that humans are not on their menu. In the last 100 years there have only been 125 attacks with 27 casualties. It is much more dangerous to ride to the grocery store in a car than being attacked by a lion. 

The question becomes,  “How can I keep myself, my children and my animals safe?”  The answers are that if you come in contact with one, as I have, DO NOT turn you back and run. They are often triggered by a human running. That will get his juices going and they will attack. Usually the lion will just walk away. Never turn your back to them. Don't let your children alone without supervision if you live in lion territory. Lock up your animals at night. Don't keep your dog, llamas, horses or goats out at night. Lions have a taste for cats. The only relatively assured way to protect our critters is to keep them in a secure enclosure. Playing a radio for the animals will also help dissuade the lions. Dr. Martin carries a walking stick with him on hikes. If you are hiking in a wilderness area, make noise to let them know you are coming. Don't surprise them. If you follow these rules you and your family should remain safe.

COMING EVENTS

Sheila Bear reading an essay during a past event. Photo: penngrovereadingseries.comArtful Arrangements – free Saturdays

Saturday's Free Drop-In happens from 10 am – Noon, ongoing. Parents or grandparents bring the children. Volunteers help kids create a starter-plant in a ceramic cup to take home and nurture. Artful Arrangements Homestead, 205 Orchard Ave., Penngrove.

Feb. 9 – Penngrove Reading Series  - Authors Nancy Davis Kho & Michael Giotis will read at 8 pm followed by an open mic. Writers (and fans) of all genres and experience levels welcome. Come early for drinks and dinner from the wood-fired oven at Penngrove Market, stay for poetry, prose, stories, and more. www.PenngroveReadingSeries.com

March 3 - Petaluma Woman's Club Speakers Series 2020. Conversations with Women Leaders in Our Community. Learn something new this year! The March 3 event features Dr. Jane Saldana, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs/Assistant Superintendent, SRJC and Dr. Catherine Williams, Dean, SRJC Petaluma Campus. Details: 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at 518 B Street, Petaluma. Tickets are $15,www.Eventbrite.com.  Search on ‘speaker series’. Four additional events are planned.

Penngrove Station By Lyndi Brown

 

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