There was some excitement here while I was retreating. One evening Tom went out to bottle feed our orphan calf. The dogs went with him as usual but then started going crazy, jumping at the fence to the donkey pen and barking (even our beagle). Tom saw a dark flash going from the front of the pen (very close to our barn!) toward the back. He didn’t think much of it as he thought it was a donkey and continued through the gate toward the calf. But then he shined a light and saw the 2 sets of donkeys eyes out back and another set of very large eyes in the back of the pen. He started yelling at it, but it walked very slowly away from him. He then set the bottle on a post and headed to the house to get a gun. He accidentally grabbed bird shot instead of hollow point bullets in his haste and headed back to the pasture. When he got to the fields the donkeys had returned to their pen (and it is highly unusual for them to be out of their pen after dark), and the other set of very large eyes (larger than cow eyes) was on the back fence line and not moving much. The llama had run to the back of the field near the fence with its ears back. Tom went into the field with the calf and the eyes were still there barely moving. He yelled at it some more but no response. He walked to the fence line, and the animal was 20 yards away and not scared of him. He made sure again it was not a donkey, and as he continued to yell at it he shot at it three times. It then ran away toward the neighbors.
The next day, Tom found what looked like cougar prints near our boundary fence from the neighbors. We have not seen it since, but the llama is constantly in the field watching the back fence. I found these prints today, in the middle region of our back fence. They are in the sand near our ditch and are fresh since the last rain. They are larger than Mopar’s prints so bigger than a large dog’s.
We shut the donkeys into their pen so they do not have access out back anymore. I moved the cows including the calf into the front field with the sheep. I moved the ram into a pen in the barn. I will lock the goats in the barn at night. We have been keeping our bedroom window open at night (which is challenging with these frigid temperatures) to listen for any commotion. We will keep patrolling the back of our property. Hopefully this will keep our animals from becoming a cougar’s dinner.