Is There A Mountain Lion Living On Prospect Mountain Road, Alton, NH?
.by Anura Guruge
Having huffed and puffed 1.25 miles up Prospect Mountain Road, as I try to do 6 days a week, I was coming down, this morning, when the delightful lady, that owns the large blueberry farm, who we know quite well (and like) stopped me. It is always a pleasure to chat with her.
She was very concerned. She knows that I let Maya off the leash when I am past ‘the houses’ and that Teischan and Devanee sometimes walk up, albeit with Deanna and Ulysses.
She is sure that there is a mountain lion or bobcat living at the bottom of her field. It had been spotted this last Sunday, in the yard of the folks that live two houses down, across the road, chasing a flock of wild turkeys.
We quickly compared notes.
Here is the thing. Twice in the last month, the second time being last Friday, I had seen a ‘large’ dog-like animal crossing the road and heading into the Marsh.
The house in question, where this ‘critter’ was seen Sunday, is right next to that Marsh.
It appears that I am not the only one that has seen ‘something’ cross the road and heading into the Marsh.
But, now this is where we tend to diverge. Though not an expert, I am fairly au fait with mountain lions and Bobcats — albeit those in captivity. I used to be a very frequent visitor to the Squam Lakes Science Center that has both mountain lions and Bobcats. Deanna and I were there in 2003 or 2004 when they first brought in the two mountain lions cubs — who were but a few weeks old. In 2008, Teischan and I were visiting the Center at least once a month, during Spring/Summer, while Deanna did a merchandising job in Meredith. The Bobcats were Tesichan’s favorite.
The ‘larger’ critter, that I have seen, was not a mountain lion or Bobcat. Now that ‘she’ is saying that the animal seen on Sunday did not have a tail just compounds the issue.
My reaction, both times, as I told Deanna and the kids, when I came home was that it was either a coyote or a wolf.
I have been face-to-face with a grey wolf, 10′ apart, in Meredith, NH, on the railway tracks, in 1998. This was no accident. The wolf had come to see me, or to be more precise the two 8 week old Goldens that were with me. It was quite a confrontation. It eventually backed off, ran across the slope and started walking across the Lake. This was winter. Then I got my ultimate confirmation that this was a wolf, rather than a coyote (though I also poured over books and Web images to make sure). About 4 different snowmobiles nearly ‘capsized’ pulling U-turns when they saw this thing trotting across the ice. They would be going along, then they would pull a sharp U-turn to come back and have another look.
On Prospect Mountain, in each case, I was about 500′ away. When I got to the Marsh, I would stop and look to see if it was waiting for us. On Friday, Maya did some serious sniffing when we got to Marsh. She didn’t seem to be in anyway agitated or distressed, though I am not sure whether she knows what a wolf or coyote smells like or what threat they posses to her.
I have heard coyotes howling in the night — though earlier in the Spring.
I would LOVE IT if we had a mountain lion on Prospect Mountain.
I love big cats, but ONLY big cats. I am allergic in multiple ways to domestic cats.
Yes, I am aware of all the reports and stories, both ways, about mountain lions in NH. I think there is more consensus that we do have gray wolves. I like wolves too and I am thinking of getting one as my next dog.
So, this is just an update.
Comments Deanna has received on this post on Facebook — since she reposts some of these on her Facebook page.