21 Jun 2008, 6:35pm
by admin

Mountain Lion Kills, Eats NM Man

Searchers find body of missing man

Eyewitness News 4, 06/20/2008 [here]

State police have found the body of a missing Grant County man and say he was eaten by a mountain lion.

Robert Nawojski was reported missing Thursday by his brother. Friday, authorities found a mountain lion eating his remains near a Piños Altos Cemetary.

At this time, Game and Fish is tracking the animal, but they do not know if the mountain lion actually killed Nawojski.


Mountain lion sought after man’s body found

The Associated Press, 06/20/2008

PINOS ALTOS, N.M.—Searchers on Friday were looking for a mountain lion that is believed to have fed on the body of a 55-year-old man who’d been reported missing earlier in the week.
The lion was wounded by a game officer Thursday night, and searchers with dogs were looking for it near this mountainous southwestern New Mexico town, state police Lt. Rick Anglada said.
Authorities don’t know if the lion is responsible for the death of Robert Nowojski, whose body was found Friday morning about 80 yards from his home, Anglada said.

“It’s going to take an autopsy to actually determine how he died,” he said.
However, it appeared something had been feeding on the body, and authorities believe it was the lion, Anglada said.

Searchers called the state Game and Fish Department Thursday night after encountering a mountain lion while searching for Nowojski, whose brother reported him missing earlier that day. The brother said he had last been seen on Tuesday, Anglada said.

A game officer who spotted the lion shot and wounded it, said Anglada and Dan Williams, a spokesman for Game and Fish. State police, the game department and federal Wildlife Services, augmented by trappers and hunting dogs, were still searching for the wounded animal Friday afternoon around the rural community, Williams said.

“We’re out there working real hard to find that lion,” he said.

It’s rare for a mountain lion to kill a human. The last reported human killing by a lion in New Mexico was in 1974, when a lion killed an 8-year-old boy near Arroyo Seco.


Posted at Wolf Crossing, Jun 20th, 2008 [here]

Lion Found On Missing Man, Pinos Altos NM (not the first person to go missing from area)

DRW: We live a little over a mile, as the raven flies, from Pinos Altos. This lion has been showing itself on our road for a couple of weeks. Last week neighbors met it twice on morning walks; the second time it stalked them, even following them up their long, winding driveway. Wednesday morning a neighbor woke up to find it on his deck. A little later the man who had been followed started on his morning walk and found the lion waiting for him. There is a lot of game in the area - I counted nine deer on our back four a couple of days ago - so lack of game can’t be the reason. I’ll be interested to know what the animal’s autopsy finds.

admin: DRW that is terrible. we were talking about this incident last night and felt that this lion had probably given some warning that it was present and it was allowed to continue to be a nuisance but felt it was probably missing pets or some such unprovable problem. But to have had it actively stalking people for two weeks and nothing done about it is a complete violation of your civil rights.

I know this is a dumb question but did anyone ever report this behavior to the game and fish? If so, they are probably liable for this mans death.

DRW: Game and Fish was called after the stalking incident, tried unsuccessfully to call the lion, neighbors explained to us, with something that made a squeaking noise. Neighbors had been bouncing a squeaky toy for their adolescent Great Dane, felt they had inadvertantly called the animal to them. The stalking was put down to curiosity, but my husband did load a shotgun with three non-lethal beanbag shots, then three lethal shots. Husband was sick all week (mostly dehydration) and not up to walking, so loaned the gun to our neighbor, who used it Wednesday morning, hitting the lion in the flank with a beanbag shot. Whether more calls were made to Game and Fish Wednesday morning I don’t know. I do know that people were calling each other to report the two incidents.

I wasn’t sure that it was curiosity, connected it to something that happened in February in the mile or two between our road and Pinos Altos. As we heard via the grapevine, people were sitting on their porch, their cat sunning on a ledge, when a lion leaped up, ingnored the people and took the cat. That, in the context of the animal showing itself here, said to me that we were dealing with an animal who had no fear of humans.

My husband has one question - why isn’t someone from Game & Fish knocking on our door to warn us. Game & Fish said we’ll always have a resident lion, which we understand. This is rough country and we did move into their territory. However, we didn’t expect this.

admin: [S]cavenging is extremely rare behavior [by mountain lions]. It almost never happens and the lion very likely killed this poor man. … [H]e was covered up near his home in a cool spot and it took some time to find him. Covering a kill is predatory behavior not scavenging behavior. He would have been found much sooner if he had simply died of natural causes and been scavenged.



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