The Mountain Lion and Me (2018) Movie Script

Casey: This is my home in
montana, paradise valley,
On the outskirts of
yellowstone national park.
These are my neighbors: Bears,
Wolves, elk, deer.
It's a blend of homes,
ranches and wildlife.
I'm casey anderson,
a wildlife filmmaker.
The kill.
I live amongst this
amazing backdrop,
Filming all the creatures
that call this home.
But there's one
animal that's really
Captured my imagination.
Go see what we got.
An animal so secretive,
few ever get to see it,
The mountain lion.
And on one snowy night
in the middle of winter,
A female decided
to pay me a visit.
One thing's for
sure, she's here.
And I was captivated.
I entered her world.
I'll call it mama
mo's hunting cave.
I watched as this
incredible mother
Devoted her life to the
survival of her young.
Since that chance
encounter, I've been
In the tracks of
a mountain lion,
And she's been watching me.
[owl hooting]
It began one winter
night, when I'd been
Away filming in yellowstone.
So, kind of crazy,
I am in yellowstone
Looking for mountain
lions, and then I get home,
And there's fresh
mountain lion tracks
Crossing my bridge.
He came right here.
Some people would
be worried out here
Walking around at midnight
looking for mountain lions.
Come home,
And guess what?
That night was the
beginning of my relationship
With a lion I would
come to call mama mo.
Look here.
So I've got these
tracks, brand new,
In my driveway, walking
right across my bridge.
This cat was just
in my back yard.
At that point, it's
like, is this just
The cat passing through.
Nonetheless, excited
because there's fresh
Mountain lion tracks in my yard.
My house is in paradise
valley, montana,
Just on the northern border
of yellowstone national park.
I'm surrounded by perfect
mountain lion habitat,
But I've never had one walking
through my yard before.
And this cat, which
I think is a female,
Based on the size of the tracks,
Literally looked in my window
and walked down my steps.
She went on that way.
I'm gonna continue
to follow her.
One thing's for
sure, she's here.
She lives in my backyard,
or I live in her backyard.
A mountain lion is
one of the hardest
Animals to film or
even get your eyes on,
And to have one
literally come to your
Doorstep and say,
"hey, here I am"
As a wildlife filmmaker, it's
really a dream come true.
So I began to track this cat.
It was winter.
There was snow on the ground,
And every morning, I
could see her tracks
And follow where they went.
Oh yeah, right here.
Going right over here
by the wood pile,
Through the barbed wire fence.
Still going.
Through the junipers here.
A lot of work.
Near the edge of my property
is an abandoned homestead,
A collection of
buildings and barns,
All intact, but nobody's
lived there for years.
Her tracks went past
my house and then down
To this old ranch.
It has always been this
mysterious place to me,
Where I always wondered
if wildlife were
Using these old buildings.
But then seeing the
mountain lion's tracks
Going down towards
it on a regular basis
And walking in there
for the first time,
I started looking around,
and it's unbelievable.
There are carcasses everywhere,
Like, remnants of her kills.
It looks like this
cat is killing things
Right here in this ghost town
And dragging the bodies
into these buildings.
And I knew that I
needed to figure out
Exactly what was happening here.
Walking into the building
and seeing all these
Carcasses was like walking into
a serial killer's basement.
Almost every one
of these buildings
Has a dead mule deer like
mummified inside of it.
It makes perfect sense.
This is a perfect
hunting ground.
We see deer around these
buildings all the time.
They get inside these buildings
to get out of the wind.
And it's also perfect
to use these buildings
To sneak up on them.
But, when it's windy
out here, all this
Rattling and creaking
will actually disguise
Her footfall as
she's sneaking up.
A mountain lion always
caches its kills
So they can come back
and feed on the carcass
For several days, so
I knew, at that point,
She was going to come back.
And I wanted to be there.
So I set up my camera
traps and waited.
[sighs] it's gonna
be a long night.
I'm gonna find out
who this cat is,
But then you start to forget.
What am I doing?
I'm putting a blind
in an old building,
And I'm gonna sit here
all night with a cat
That's killing mule
deer regularly?
I'm gonna sit here by
myself in the dark?
You know, as the sun
goes down, it starts
To seem more like
a haunted house
Rather than an old,
cool ghost ranch.
I'm just gonna go quiet mode,
Just sit here and wait.
Could be two minutes,
could be never. [laughs]
Could be hours,
just a waiting game.
And there she was,
An adult, female mountain lion.
And this big,
beautiful female cat,
She's the one that's
been walking in my yard.
She's the one that's
killing all these deer
At this ghost ranch.
And my heart is pounding.
Most mountain lion's,
when they make a kill,
Are gonna hide it in the
bushes or cover it up somehow,
So the scavengers
don't steal it.
But this cat's hiding her kills
In these buildings instead.
Mountain lions are
amazing at adapting
To living next to humans.
It's not just pure wilderness
around here anymore.
There are people and farms,
And she's found a way to
use that to her advantage.
I can't even think
of a better night.
I don't care how creepy it is.
It's completely worth the wait.
Snow is a blessing.
It means I can track
her and see where she
Goes after she
leaves the homestead.
These cats are invisible,
But even invisible animals
will leave a footprint.
And what I soon discover
is that this female
Is walking through my
backyard on a regular basis.
Here I go again.
Female, she came through
my yard last night,
Under my deck, over
the bridge, by a lot
Of my camera traps,
and I just got a couple
Of little images.
So now, I know these tracks
are less than 24 hours.
She's definitely hunting, so
I'm just gonna stay on 'em.
Maybe she made a kill,
And I'll walk right into it.
But she is whoopin' my butt.
Talk about not having
to go to the gym.
Just follow a
mountain lion around.
It's amazing.
You learn a lot, though, by
just following the tracks.
I know wildlife
biologists that have been
Tracking these cats
their entire career
And have only got glimpses
of this elusive animal.
These cats are like ghosts.
They don't want us to see them,
So to be able to
follow the tracks
Of a wild, uncollared
mountain lion
And have the chance to
set up my camera traps
And see her again,
that's amazing!
I'm on these tracks,
and I'm following them,
And they're zigging and
zagging through the bushes,
And then I come
around the corner,
And these magpies
are taking off.
I know right in front of
me, there's something there,
And it's probably a kill.
This looks like a drag
coming off the hill,
All these tracks,
nothing going that way.
The kill.
It's a fresh kill
of a mule deer.
And I literally can see
my house from right here.
So now the mad rush is on.
I've got to go get
all my cameras ready,
Get them back to this
kill before she returns.
Man, backyard mountain lion.
That night, I happened to
put a camera really low,
Like almost aiming
straight up in the air,
Hoping to get maybe a
cat just like looking
Over down at the camera.
What I got was way
more than I thought
I was ever gonna get.
She walks in and just steps
right over the camera,
And right on her belly,
it was very obvious,
That she had been nursing,
freshly nursing, kittens.
So now it's like, oh my
gosh, we got this cat
On camera, this is
awesome, and she's got
Little kittens somewhere.
Just when you think this story's
Not gonna get any better, bingo,
we've got nursing kittens.
And it's like, let's
find those little guys.
Let's find this family.
Let's tell their story.
Casey: Watching a female
mountain lion feeding on a kill
Just up from my
house is amazing.
This mule deer that she's killed
Weighs probably
about 200 pounds,
Which is much more
than she does.
Mountain lions are
incredible athletes.
They can take down
prey twice their size.
But a kill like this will
only feed her for a few days,
Then she'll have to kill again.
And she's eating not
just for herself,
But for her kittens as well.
I don't know how many she has
Or how old they are, but
I'm determined to find out.
She's caching the carcass
in the bushes for later,
So I'm hoping she's going
to keep coming back,
And so will I.
There's still quite a bit left,
The head, part of
the head on that one.
We might get one more
night out of this.
So now I'm basically
taking my car batteries,
Inverting it into ac
power so I can run
Some of these lights.
I'll slip out of here
and go see what we got.
The next night, she
doesn't disappoint.
But this time, she's not alone.
Three kittens.
Based on their size,
I'm guessing the kittens
Are about 2 1/2 months old.
But most mountain lion cubs
won't survive their first year.
To have all these three
survive the winter
Would be against the odds.
This mother's got her
work cut out for her,
And she'll keep those
kittens close to her.
When they're mothers,
they only have a range
Of about 10 square miles.
So for me, this is
a great opportunity
To watch these kittens grow.
When she finally decided
to bring the kittens
To the kill for the
very first time,
It was really obvious,
from the start,
That they each had their
own little personalities.
You could see right
away that there was
Like this big mean
one, and we started
Calling it meany.
[kitten growling]
Eenie was the little one.
She was always kind
of the adventurer,
Off on her own,
doing her own thing.
Then we started going
eenie, meenie, miney,
And that fit pretty
good, actually.
Because there was
miney, who was always
The possessive one.
Everything was mine,
mine, mine, mine, mine,
And then mama mo
just fit, you know?
Eenie, meenie,
miney and mama mo.
That's how I named her mama mo.
This place is harsh.
The winds can blow
60 miles an hour,
And temperatures can drop
down to 50 below zero.
Blizzards are unpredictable,
And, in a matter of
minutes, you can be lost
In a complete white out.
Not the best conditions
to have three kittens.
But as I begin to track mama mo,
I quickly realize that she
was an extraordinary mother.
Most of the animals in
this part of the country
Have evolved to sync
the birth of their
Young with warmer weather
and spring conditions.
While the winter
setting might seem
Like a death sentence
for these little kittens,
It's really the opposite.
The frigid cold
actually drives the prey
From the high country down
into the valley below.
And that means mama mo
doesn't have to go very far.
It's like having a buffet
right at her front door.
So winter is when a
mountain lion thrives.
But for me to try to
follow her and film her,
Man, it gets cold.
There is one advantage for
it being so cold, though.
Her warm body really sticks out
When I'm using thermal
imaging technology.
With this technology, the
invisible becomes trackable.
So these are military
grade thermal binoculars
That sense heat, so
basically, what you're
Seeing here is just
a heat gradient.
It'd look exactly the
same day or night.
You're not seeing,
really, visible light.
You're seeing that the
tree's a little bit
Warmer than the ground, so
white is hotter than black.
We're looking for bright white.
That would be something
giving off body heat.
And then we watch it,
and see how it moves,
See what the general
shape of it is,
And then we can kind of
identify what species it is.
This is a game changer,
'cause day or night,
We can come out with
this and find animals.
The fact that she does
most of her moving around
Either in low light or
no light situations,
This is the only way
that we can find her.
Across the valley,
up the mountain,
There's just a
little white light,
The faintest sign of body heat.
And when I check it out
a little bit closer,
Bingo, there she is.
Finding that cave was huge.
I mean, it gave me such
an incredible opportunity
To set up cameras and
film them up close,
Without being intrusive.
It was obvious she had
several denning areas
And caves that she would go to,
But then, it was really
apparent that there
Was this one cave.
This one cave I called
the kitty condo.
That's kind of her main cave.
That's really her home base.
She uses the other caves,
but this one's her favorite
You can tell.
I've gone years and
traveled thousands of miles
Looking for mountain
lions, and I've barely ever
Seen one, and now, I'm
filming this family every day.
Mama mo has about a
half dozen of these dens
Scattered across the mountain.
I began to start
learning her patterns.
Depending on where
she's hunting,
And where the prey is,
she stashes the kittens
In a den, and then
heads off to get dinner.
Only once she's made
a kill and cached it
Will she bring the
kittens back to eat.
When the opportunity comes,
you just jump all over it.
You gotta do everything you can,
Do your best, not
sleep most of the time,
Just thinking that
it might be the last
Time you get a chance
to look at these guys.
And the way the world's
changing, it might be.
This might be the
last time that we get
To film a mountain lion family.
It might be the last
time anybody gets to.
So the responsibility
for us as story tellers
Trying to protect
these wonderful animals
That no one knows
anything about, it's now.
Casey: When I first started
following mama mo
And the kittens, I'd never
done anything like this before,
At least not with
a mountain lion.
I'd set up camera traps
on bears and wolves,
But not a mountain lion,
And I really worried
that I would impact
This little family somehow.
But she was confident,
and she seemed
Totally unphased by it.
When filming bears and
wolves and other canines,
I'd hide the cameras
out of the way.
I'd do everything I
could to conceal them.
With mama mo, I learned
it doesn't matter.
I found out there's
really no way I'm
Gonna hide cameras from
this super-keen animal.
As long as she can
look at them and go,
It's a camera, I don't care,
She just goes in
and does her thing.
And she made it easy for me.
She was a proficient hunter.
She's making a
kill, without fail,
Every two to three days.
When I set up on the
kills, I really never
Know what I'm gonna get.
I just hope
everything's gonna work.
That's the boy there.
Look at him.
It's given me a
glimpse into the life
Of a mountain lion
family, which is rarely
Ever filmed, and I'm
developing an understanding
Of an animal that is much
more than a predator.
There's also this
soft side to them,
Where they're just a mother
taking care of their babies.
This is the little
moments that I love.
They like to have fun and play.
For a mother to provide
food, it's very important,
But here's the other thing
that this mother provides,
Snuggling, loving, cleaning.
When you think about
a mountain lion,
You don't think about
this side of their life,
And this is what they're
doing most of the time.
[laughs] sillies.
Sitting here at
their dinner table
Allows me to see each
of their personalities
Really come through.
Like a good mother,
mama mo keeps
The family clean and fed.
And even looks after
herself a little bit.
Eenie is a miniature
version of mama mo,
Independent, adventurous,
full of courage.
And miney sticks closer to mom,
Possessive of mama
mo's attention.
He's the biggest and
only male of the kittens
But a complete mama's boy.
And meenie's name
continues to fit perfectly.
[kitten growling]
She lashes out at her
siblings and even mama.
She's a fiesty kitten.
Paradise valley has
everything that mama mo
And the kittens need.
The snow's not very
deep here in the winter,
And the elk and the deer
migrate here predictably.
You would think that
all the other predators
Would follow, like the
wolves and the bears,
But there are also
people living here,
And that's what keeps
the other predators away.
Mama mo's made a decision
to live amongst the people,
Because if she can
do that successfully,
She can have
paradise to herself.
But while food is
here for the taking,
The pursuit of prey can
lead her into harms way.
And sometimes, mama
mo goes hunting
In an area I call
the death zone.
This is where humans can
legally hunt mountain lions,
And they often use dogs
to help track them.
It's illegal to hunt
a mother mountain lion
With kittens, but
they're hardly ever
With her right now.
So a hunter would never know.
I heard the dogs
barking from the house.
The way the dogs were barking,
They had something in a tree.
And the dogs stopped barking,
So I got out and listened,
'cause that usually means
a, either the cat's dead,
Or b, the cat's
running, and the dogs
Are trying to run to keep up.
Now, the fact that
she's potentially moving
From her sanctuary
over into an area that
Could be dangerous for
her and her kittens,
That creates worry.
And, sure enough, I'm
coming up the hill,
I stop the truck, and
here comes mama mo
Running really fast
right at me and goes
Up into these cliffs.
And right behind her,
several hound dogs.
[dogs barking]
They get her out in the rocks,
And they start to surround her.
I know what's coming next.
Behind the hounds it's
gonna be the hunters,
And I'm right there.
I've gotta do something.
And I just went up
to them and said,
"hey, this is mama mo.
"she's got kittens.
"this is my life.
"this is what I've been
waiting for all my life."
And, you know,
fortunately, they grabbed
Their dogs and left.
What if I would've not
walked out the door
In that moment,
heard those dogs.
That'd been the end of
the story right there.
Little did I know, the
story was about to get
A lot more interesting.
I see in the snow, the
mountain lion tracks
Have crossed the road.
In fact, when I look,
there's two sets.
Look here, mountain
lion tracks with mud,
A couple sets, interesting.
Now, that looks like,
that's our female.
But look at this track.
That's not our female.
That's a big tom track, I think.
What looks like mama
mo's and a big male
Walking right with her.
See, here we go.
There's a good comparative.
That's a big track, and I
don't know who this guy is.
The hounds have probably
got this big guy
Up a tree, and as I get closer,
This cat jumps out of the tree.
And, at that point,
it's obvious.
It's this big male.
That could be bad news
for mama and the kittens.
Eventually, mama mo's
tracks lead over the road
And back home to the kittens,
But now, there's this other
cat lurking around her.
There are a lot of risks
for a mother mountain lion
And her kittens, but the
biggest threat to her
Is actually another
mountain lion.
And now, that threat, it's real.
This other cat is a male,
and it's hanging out
At mama mo's den.
No matter what, I
have to figure out
Who this other cat is,
like, what is his intention?
There's only one
way to find out,
And that's to get a closer look.
While the cat is
still in the cave,
I set up a camera trap
right outside the entrance.
Okay, okay, I'm outta here.
I've got a new cat on my hands.
I've got to find out
what he's doing here
In paradise valley.
Casey: I haven't seen any
sign of mama mo
Or the kittens for several days.
Meanwhile, a male has taken
over one of her caves,
So I don't know if
this is a rogue male,
Who could potentially
kill these kittens
If they're not his,
or if he's actually
The father of eenie,
meenie and miney.
I can only know what's
going on by getting
A camera trap up inside the den.
But the risk of upsetting this
feisty guy is really high.
So I wait until I know
he's left the cave,
And then, I take my chance.
I gotta hurry,
set up this camera
And get outta here.
The last thing I want is
to be wedged in this hole
And that big male
to come back home.
Let's get this set.
This looks like a real
brute of a mountain lion.
He's only got half of a tail,
Which probably happened
in one of his brawls.
Male mountain lions
that fight the most
Actually live the longest.
They're wanderers, with
ranges up to 100 miles.
These big guys roam
across the landscape
Looking for food and
looking for mates.
His presence has kept
mama mo and the kittens
Away from their den
for several days.
I'm excited to see this guy,
But when he finally
decides to leave the area,
I'm sure happy to see him go.
But mama mo hasn't
got the message.
She's still missing.
And with each day that passes,
her trail grows colder.
All I can do is keep
searching the valley
And keep checking
my camera traps,
Hoping to get back in
the tracks of mama mo.
Just like an obsession
or an addiction,
You know, if I could
spend every second
Of every day following
this cat around,
And I could survive that way,
I would do it.
But the horrible days are
the ones when she disappears,
When you think she's gonna
be there, and she's gone.
And you don't know,
And you think about what
could have happened.
Is she alive?
Has the story ended?
I know that day
is going to come.
I'm just not ready for it yet.
I guess I'm in denial.
Isn't that one of the
indications of this addiction?
See, the hunt goes on.
It's been over a
week since I've seen
That big tom cat, and
that's a good indication
That he's moved on.
But I haven't seen
mama mo, either,
And I'm starting to get worried.
With both of them
gone, I have the chance
To get a much closer
look inside her main den.
Crawling in the front
door of the home
Of a mountain lion
is not something that
You get to do every day.
So this is the cave
mama mo basically stays
Throughout the day
before she goes on a hunt
Down by my house.
I've watched her laying
up here in the sun,
Just like a cat in
the window sill,
Amazing view, and she just
waits until darkness comes.
She's got the graveyard shift.
She hunts on down
through my yard
And down to the ghost ranch.
Just about the time
I'm going to bed,
She's going to work.
I'll call it mama
mo's hunting cave.
This could be really warm,
even in the dead of winter.
Well, I'm gonna
set a camera trap,
And, hopefully,
she'll come back,
And we'll get her on film.
The search continues.
Still looking for mama mo.
Fortunately, there
are a few animals
Around here who can help me.
[bird screeching]
Magpies are my, they're
my eyes in the sky.
One of the most beautiful birds,
Super intelligent, corvids.
Magpies can see the
littlest drop of blood.
They have no sense of smell.
It's totally by sight,
flying over the top.
Most of the year, when
we're looking for bears
And mountain lions
and wolves, it's often
The magpie that
points them out to us.
And they're telling
a story all the time.
And over the years, we've
just learned to listen
And understand it,
and it's just amazing.
The birds are always
telling you something.
This time, they're
telling me mama mo's back,
Hunting in paradise valley.
And with the next snowfall,
I'm back on her trail.
There's nothing that
makes me more happy
Than seeing this
mountain lion's tracks.
'cause at the end of the tracks,
There's always
something awesome.
She doesn't have any
kittens with her,
So she must be going
back to get the kittens
To feed tonight.
So she must have
stashed 'em last night,
Went on a hunt solo.
And if you put her
track in a lineup
With 10 other mountain
lions, I've followed
This little lady
so much that I know
That I could pick her
track out of a lineup
Of 10 different cats.
They've very distinctive.
She's got this inside
toe seems a little bit
Longer, just the way she steps.
The story continues.
Spring has sprung
in paradise valley.
It's amazing to watch
these kittens grow.
Their personalities
are really showing.
Meenie is constantly
stalking and pouncing
On her siblings, and
even tackling mama mo.
That mean streak of
hers will probably
Be her best ammunition
when she finally
Moves out on her own.
Miney is still the biggest
kitten, but he's careful.
He's kind of like
the mama's boy.
Mama mo is still his protector.
He's always right
by mama's side.
Hopefully, he'll find
that male fighting spirit,
Because that's the only way
he'll make it on his own.
And then there's eenie, a
bit smaller than the others,
She's full of spirit.
She's just like mama mo.
She's an adventurer.
She'll jump up on any big ledge.
She'll go out on her own
without even looking back.
She really reminds
me of mama mo,
Bold, confident,
a perfect example
Of a fearless,
female mountain lion.
The family is thriving, but
spring is always a challenge.
This is when bears
emerge from hibernation,
And the deer and elk are
starting to spread out
Across much bigger areas.
The kittens are now the size
Where they're learning
to hunt and stalk,
But with the prey dispersed,
the hard time is right now.
Every moment this
cat is out here,
There's always this constant
struggle for survival.
There's so many things
that we probably don't
See that she's dealing
with all the time,
And to get these three
kittens to the point
That they are now is an
amazing feat that she's done.
It's March, and eenie,
meenie and miney
Have turned into rambunctious
five-month-old kittens.
The kittens are at
that age now where
She's taken them through
some pretty gnarly
Terrain and climbing
down to the cliffs.
She's kind of a tough-love mom,
Where she'll do what
she can do physically,
Like climbing down
through the rocks,
And let them figure it out.
They can either try to
follow her footsteps
Or figure the way around
to keep up with her,
But she doesn't stop and
wait for them very much.
One evening, I'm watching
them leave the den
And head out to hunt.
The kittens were following
her on an adventure.
Mama took a big jump
down this cliff face,
I'd say 30-40 feet.
Meenie and miney decided
they're not gonna
Make that jump, so
they went around.
And eenie kind of looks
and gets to the point
Where decides to try
to go mom's route,
Makes a bad step and
falls off this cliff
Behind a tree and
just disappears.
It didn't look good.
I knew that was gonna
be a bad landing.
And I didn't even
know if she was gonna
Come out from behind that tree.
And sure enough, out
comes eenie alive,
But something was wrong.
Casey: The injury to eenie
has me really worried.
She can't make it
back to the den
And is staying
down in the valley,
Where she's
incredibly vulnerable.
There's no way she can
climb up to the cave,
So mama mo has to
leave her behind
While she takes the other
two back up to the butte.
Later that night, mama mo,
meenie and miney share a deer.
While eenie, all alone,
unable to climb the hill,
Goes without the
much-needed meal.
Over the coming days,
eenie's condition gets worse.
She's not limping.
She just looks
really skinny still.
You can see the hip
bones sticking out here.
You can see her rib
cage really defined,
Her shoulder bone
sticking up here.
So she doesn't have
any fat on her.
It really is, it's
tough to watch.
Then eenie disappears.
I watch mama mo looking
for eenie for over a week.
She refuses to give up
on her injured kitten.
There's that motherly
instinct kicking in.
She's always doing her best.
She's doing her best to
try to find that kitten,
And her instincts are good.
If she's come down
here and called
And looked and sniffed around.
She hasn't given
up on that kitten.
She'll look for it until there's
No kitten to look for.
Eventually, she finds her,
hiding in a small bush.
Once again, mama
mo, very determined,
Attempts to lead eenie
back up the butte.
Mom's trying to keep her going,
Being patient, but also
just keeping that distance
And moving, trying to
provoke it to keep moving.
The little kitten doesn't
have much energy left,
And I know mama
doesn't have a kill.
So what mama's got to
do is get that kitten
Somewhere safe,
make another kill
And find a way to get that
kitten to that food source.
That's the only chance
this cat's got to live.
Since those kittens were born,
Since the first time
I've ever seen them,
I've never seen her turn
back for her kittens.
That's just not the
way of a mountain lion.
The fact that she continues
to turn around and wait
Shows her concern
and shows that she's
Really trying hard
to get that kitten
To come up the hill.
Days and then weeks
go by and, somehow,
Eenie is still alive.
But she's progressively
gotten worse.
She never made it
back up to the den.
So mama mo has been stashing
eenie right by the kills
To conserve what energy
the little kitten has left.
Meanwhile, meenie and
miney are thriving.
They're growing
stronger every day.
It's such a stark difference
between how they look
And how sick and skinny
their sister eenie is.
Relentlessly, mama mo
continues to return.
She refuses to abandon
her little kitten,
But the odds don't look good.
Super skinny,
She looks pretty bad.
It's been five weeks
since the accident,
And mama mo is out
searching for eenie.
Ugh, it's,
There's an element of
sadness just the way
She's moving around.
She moved the same way with
the same sort of purpose
Down tonight, calling,
looking, sniffing.
It seemed like she was
searching for the sick kitten,
And, now, she's
returning to the cliffs,
Up to the bedding area
without a kitten in tow.
It's really this
sense that she's gone
Looking for the kitten
and just not finding it.
There's some level of feeling
tonight that maybe
That kitten's not
around anymore.
There's definitely
no pep in that step.
Not looking back.
She knows there's no
one following her.
And tonight mama mo's
having a bad night.
When a mountain
lion goes to die,
They'll find a hole
or go under a bush,
Just like where
they cache a kill,
Somewhere where no one,
Not even a scavenger,
will ever find them.
Mama mo has lost a cub.
But in nature, the
cycle continues.
There's no looking back.
Mama mo still has two
healthy, strong kittens
That are now eight months old.
That's a great survival
rate for a mountain lion.
She's done her job well.
With the onset of
summer, mama mo will take
The kittens to higher ground,
Following the elk and deer.
They'll stay with her
for another few months.
She'll continue to
teach them how to stalk,
To hunt, what dangers
to be wary of.
And then, when they're
about a year and a half old,
Mama will know her
work is finished,
And she'll send
them on their way.
Hopefully, next winter,
she'll come home again
To paradise valley and
walk across my bridge.
For now, it's time to give
mama mo her secret life back
And let her disappear
into the hills,
To let her be
invisible once again.