Archive for the ‘scavengers and predators’ category

Iron Granny Strangles Bobcat!

June 20, 2018

 

In a Charlie Daniels song, the devil went down to Georgia.  He just better not mess with the women there, because they’re a pretty tough bunch…

In a true story, DeDe Phillips, a 46-year-old grandmother living in Hart County, Georgia wandered out of her house with her cell phone in hand to see why a neighbor’s dog was barking.  She had just put a “Women Who Behave Rarely Make History” sticker on the back of her new truck.  Met with a bobcat, the woman took a picture before the bobcat went for her, targeting her face!

Well, when the going gets tough, the tough get going…and knowing that the large feline would go for her upper body, she protected herself by squeezing on its throat.  After a pitched battle in which the woman suffered a broken finger and numerous bites and claw wounds to her face, hands, chest, and legs, Phillips managed to strangle the big cat.  How very metal of her!  She didn’t even call for help because her 5-year-old granddaughter was in the house, and she didn’t want her endangered by coming outside. — This was one granny who could lick her weight in wildcats!

It wasn’t until the next day that she found out that the bobcat tested positive for rabies, and she had her first round of rabies shots. Although bobcat sightings are rare, the animals have been known to attack humans and are especially aggressive when they are sick.  One clearly met its match in Georgia…  

Death Cat of Cherokee County…

June 9, 2014

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It was another case of a ferocious feline on a recent episode of Mountain Monsters (S2/Ep10, 2014).  The Death Cat in question weighs in at 500 pounds, measures 6′ long without his tail, and has a shaggy coat.  He was first spotted in the early 1800’s in Cherokee County, North Carolina so that was the location to which the AIMS team made haste.  An interesting wrinkle was the fact that this cat was not your ordinary Death Cat, having mythical qualities.  His initial appearances clocked in at about the time of the infamous “Trail of Tears” death march on which Native Americans were sent in the early 19th century, and this feline is supposedly kind of a payback for that injustice.  Supposedly, if you see the Death Cat, you will die…this is the kinda cat that not only gets your tongue, but the rest of you as well!

First interviewed was a beef cattle farmer by the name of “Herbal,” whose cattle were being killed in the classic big cat style, namely bitten by the throat and suffocated.  A 10″ paw print was found in the area.  During their first night’s investigation, the team found claw marks on a downed tree, and saw a thermal image in the brush.  Team rookie “Buck” got a bit carried away at that point, rushing ahead to pursue the beast but only catching a glimpse.  

The next day, a trip-string drop trap was constructed out of locust wood.  Interviewed was “Boone,” a farmer whose horse had been attacked, mutilated, and partially eaten.  He had a trail camera image supposedly showing part of the beast as seen from the side.  “David,” another farmer interviewed, had lost sheep killed in his barn, and also had a trail camera image taken in his tool shed.  This suggested that the creature had lost its fear of man, and was becoming bolder in invading human habitations.  

The trap was baited with a mixture of goat, pork, and urine provided by team member “Buck.”  Team leader “Trapper” was not informed of the urine component nor its origin, and low comedy hilarity ensued as Trapper put out the bait bare-handed and then stroked his beard as he was prone to do.  On their final night’s hunt, the team sought to flush the Death Cat from high country to farm country in a pincher movement executed by the split team moving towards their trap.  They found another large print, and entered an old barn where a goat leg was found.  Thinking that they had interrupted the cat in his meal, the team advanced closer to the barn loft where it was assumed that the beast had fled.  Blood dripped from above onto “Buck” at that point, soon to be followed by a goat carcass crashing to the floor.  The creature was fleetingly seen by team members running out of the barn door, and was pursued to another farm building from which he again escaped, returning to the previous building to claim his goat and make off with it…

This cat was slick!- – Although flushed towards the trap pursued by multiple armed men, he knew better than to enter the trap, avoiding it and making good his getaway.  The team did capture a number of images from a trail camera that they had posted near the site, one of which showed what appeared to be a large predacious-type feline captured in side view.  The Mountain Monsters team seemed to be awfully pleased with themselves for getting that, and considered their work well-done…and long may the Death Cat continue to confound its pursuers!

Woman Devoured by Vultures…

May 7, 2013

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) perched– – The following story I forewarn you is not for those of delicate sensitivities, good readers…but if you enjoy a good gross-out and are not yourselves eating, read on!

Nature can be cruel but it is efficient, and wastes nothing…and so it was that when a woman in France fell to her death off a cliff in mid-April, her body was devoured by vultures in just 45 minutes, before rescue workers were even able to reach the remains. The 52-year-old woman was hiking with two friends in the French Pyrenees when she plunged more than 980 feet to her death. By the time rescuers reached the body, there were only clothes, shoes, and bones left on the ground…

Griffon vultures were the species involved, and they are protected by law. The gruesome incident may further the cause of area farmers who want permission to shoot the vultures, claiming that the ban has led to a swelling in their population with livestock being threatened. Vultures have been deprived of animal carcasses due to a European law requiring farmers to burn the bodies of dead animals. In effect, this has turned the griffon vultures from scavengers to predators in regions of southern France and Spain, with livestock animals literally being eaten alive…