Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Suspicious Deaths in the Canyon

There's a new manager at the donkey rescue and the other day, I saw my husband talking to him for a long time down the road. Then my husband came home and told me this:

Yesterday morning, the temperature was 10F

An old man, who lived up in the canyon, had been found murdered and his caretaker was gone. I looked this up in our paper online and found it to be true. The man was found by the caretaker's son, on the floor of his bedroom, with a lot of blood around his neck area. The caretaker, the boys's mother, was nowhere to be found. Detectives are investigating this as a suspicious death and have sent the boy away to live with his father. 

and I tried to capture the glitter of the frost

Then the guy told my husband that a black bear had killed three donkeys at the rescue. I found this hard to believe and tried to get more information out of my husband without success. Grrrr, like don't you get it? If there's a crazy bear out there, we are all in danger. I dropped it with him and turned to my blogger friend, Upupaepops, whose blog Meandering Washington is always interesting, informative and full of beautiful photos. My meandering blogger friend also knows about science, nature, biology and I'm sure a whole lot more, and I value her opinion. Upupaepops said, that she found it

with my camera.

hard to believe a bear would do this, unless the guy had visual evidence, such as paw prints or fur. The manager said there were paw prints. She further said that bears are not big carnivores and few carnivores kill for fun. She thought maybe a coyote pack. And she said that Fish & Wildlife authorities should be contacted when any abnormal animal behavior occurs, regardless of species.
 I can't believe a bear would do something like that either. I also don't believe a pack of coyotes could take on and kill three donkeys. Not unless they were miniatures, very old or very young. But then I don't know what happened, if the three donkeys were killed at the same time, or if some animal came back, or they were in different enclosures. Wild burros, of which there are many at the rescue, can kill coyotes and even mountain lions. And I have been rushed by a domestic donkey, walking by his enclosure before he was neutered. If the fence had broken, I would not be here to write about these strange occurrences. I'm sure, if attacked, they could muster that again to defend themselves. 
And then, finally, the guy told my husband that he had also spotted a mountain lion crossing the fields and wandering past our barn, a couple of early mornings in a row. Of course, cats being cats, they most definitely don't kill for fun. I don't know if he really saw a cougar or perhaps he saw that huge bobcat that lives around here. All I know is that three donkeys must be dead. But what happened? Is there a deranged bear out there in the hills? A large coyote pack on the hunt? A mountain lion lurking? Are my dogs safe? Are we safe walking in the hills? 


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