Sunday, October 19, 2008

Copper's Rock Mountain Lion Sanctuary

These beautiful pyracantha berries were growing in front of the ole 18oo's fireplace that was attached to the Jenkin's family original farm house. We really enjoyed watching the cougars, but enjoyed more the joy of sharing with Mark and Shelia Jenkins and Mark's Mom and Dad, Jean and Ed.

There ia an electric gate that opens to allow vehicular travel into the sanctuary and the road also leads to Mark's Mom and Dad's home. This sign assures that one is aware of the mountain lions on the property. The habitats are spacious and constructed so they blend into the natural environment . Security is doubled by having the enclosures double fenced in case a critter would escape then it would still be contained.

Here is Mark with Judy. Mark is so proud of his work with the cougars. He is so knowledgable about the animal's needs and behaviors.

If you go to the sanctuary's web site, it will give you not only photos of the specific animals, but will show you each habitat.

In the first pen was the seclusive Jackson (seen below). He is a bobcat that was taken in when a zoological rehab facility called to see if they could place him at the Preston County site. Mark assured them that he had only large cats, but the folks were persistent and Mark weakened. Two bobcat cubs were found by hikers and they took them from the forest. Too bad - Mom was probably nearby. Now Jackson (one of the two kittens found) is residing here.

Here is a mountain lion with personality. The critter below is Tecumseh, named for the great Shawnee chief. He came to the sanctuary in 1998 when he was only 3 weeks old. As soon as we walked near his cage, ole Tecumseh purred loudly. Mountain lions are the largest cats that can actually "purr".

There are two large habitats across the creek. Judy and I wanted to meet the hillside inhabitants so we crossed the nicely arched bridge.

Judy is in front of Burton's habitat. Burton was the first cougar to move to the Cooper's Rock Mountain Lion Sanctuary. He arrived in 1998, at 14 months old.

Burton was a pet and is the only cougar there that had been declawed.

Before moving here, Burton lived behind the scenes at a private zoo in the southeast United States. Zoos of all types, whether publicly or privately funded, routinely have more animals than they can display. Those who live behind the scenes do not have quarters as comfortable as the animals in public view. Some zoos are better than others, but unfortunate Burton lived in a ten-foot-square dog kennel on a concrete slab.

Happily, the zoo donated Burton to the sanctuary.

Beside Burton, lives Montana. Montana arrived at the Sanctuary in 2003, just a few weeks old. His mother had been killed by a hunter, making him the first "wild" cougar to be placed here -- if he can be considered wild after only six weeks of life. Here is Montana when he arrived with his very distant cousin.

Montana is now a very large mountain lion and a beautiful specimen.

What an exciting, yet relaxing, weekend on the Jenkin's farm in Preston County! It was a wonderful experience. We also left with some treasures that were not just memories. Mark's Mom makes wonderful pies and jellies. We brought home 2 jars of elderberry jelly and 2 jars of crab apple. Also, we purchased the last available jug of maple syrup that was made last spring from trees tapped behind the Black Bear Cabin. This is a project started by Mark and his Dad. Now the whole family is involved with maple syrup production.

We hope to be back here soon!


Blogger Janet said...

What a great habitat and even more so, what incredible photography!
Thank you for showcasing this.
Janet Huey

1:12 PM  
Blogger Jim Meads said...

Thanks, Janet. Hope you are enjoying the family blog.

1:39 PM  

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