Mr. Ricky Harp recently caught on film what appears to be a mountain lion on his trail camera in Chigger Hollow and he decided he wanted to let people know.
Ricky had his camera up during deer season and had already taken it down, but what prompted him to set it back up was the disappearance of several baby goats on his farm. Ricky grew very suspicious.
For those of you who don’t know where Chigger Hollow is, it is between Sycamore Valley and Old Bottom Road. It is a beautiful part of Macon County, but Ricky says that folks need to know what’s roaming the countryside in our rural area, so they can take precautions and keep an extra eye on their kids as well as their animals.
According to the National Geographic, mountain lions are the largest wildcat in North America and today only small populations of this solitary animal can be found east of the Mississippi River. They like to prey on deer and smaller animals and they are seldom seen by humans. While they do occasionally attack people - usually children or solitary adults - statistics show that, on average, there are only four attacks and one human fatality each year in the U.S. and Canada.
“I set the camera up at the weak part of the fence, so I could see what was traveling thru,” said Ricky. “I had pictures of coyotes, coydogs (which are a hybrid resulting from mating between a coyote and a dog), turkeys, goats and the mountain lion was photographed on a Friday night.”
“When six to eight baby goats went missing within a week to 10 days,” said Ricky, “I figured something was out there. I also realized that other folks around this area have animals and they have children that play near the woods and I wanted them to know what’s roaming around in Macon County.”
Since the initial disappearance of goats, Ricky said he’s had two more goat disappear recently.
“I’m no expert but if you encounter this kind of animal, they say you should stop and not run. Stand your ground and not turn your back. You are advised to look for sticks or rocks or something you can use as a weapon and hit the animal if he approaches you. It is suggested that you remain calm, and try your best to appear threatening to the animal and hopefully that will scare him off.”