Re: Seen any interesting non-human wildlife?

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Posted by Harold Ericsson on March 05, 2004 at 13:20:48:

In Reply to: Seen any interesting non-human wildlife? posted by mike on March 04, 2004 at 19:08:55:

At Indian Ranch, my wife and I had a sleeping deck about ten feet above the ground. One dawn, after getting up, I looked over the edge of the deck and found myself about fifteen feet from a mountain lion. The animal was in a deep crouch and seemed to be staring at a jackrabbit fourteen or fifteen feet away. The jackrabbit was absolutely rigid. My natural compassion for the rabbit was less than my interest in seeing a mountain lion in action. What I did see came as a surprise to me. After maybe 30 seconds of this standoff the lion yawned, came out of its crouch, turned around, and ambled off to the south meadow of the ranch. At this reprieve the rabbit was off like a shot and into the mesquite---with quite a tale to tell.
Iím sure the lion could see me as I watched this dramatic scene. And that seemed to make no difference. Any movement by the rabbit would cause the lion to go after it, I believe. The lion spent about an hour in some tall grass at the end of the meadow and I was able to photograph it head and ears above the blades of grass. I concluded that the lionís stealthiness is not so much a concern for predators as concern for observation by its prey. The rabbitís instincts saved its life. I spoke to someone with some experience with mountains lions and expressed surprise at the lack of an attack. She said that maybe the lion figured the amount of energy used in an attack would not be gained by eating the rabbit, energy return on energy invested, a rather sophisticated analysis on the part of the lion. Would that more creatures would understand ERoEI.

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