The missing horn and lower jaw were on this ledge above the main skeleton.
|Photo credit Pat Tillett|
|Photo credit: Google Images at Mountain Lion California|
Mountain lions do return to the kill site multiple times to feed on the carcass. They are quite methodical when it comes to feeding and I would say that this carcass is picked pretty clean. They first usually remove the digestive system and then go for the organ meat and that is why you see the rib cage opened up rather evenly. They then will return for more muscular meat. This may be a strategy to eat the parts that will go bad first and to remove the organs that will hasten the spoilage of the meat (digestive tract organs). A bighorn kill will probably feed a lion for a week or so.
We have never had a lion attack in the park. We have had a couple of interactions where the Lion growled at hikers, but that has been it. I know that I feel the heeby jeebies when I am around a kill site, although I am probably in no real danger. However, you are in their territory and at one of their kill sites which probably increases your risk some...
Thanks again for letting us know!! We will get it entered into our database.
It was quite an adventure, and one I will not soon forget!