Dog Or Mountain Lion?

DSC_8018My foot is next to the paw print of some pretty big animal. What kind of animal?

DSC_8020Same print, with my phone to provide scale.

tracksThanks to Berkeleyside.com for these comparison drawings.

DSC_8071This one was pretty big too, but not as deep. Looks like a dog print.

DSC_8028Here’s the power line terrain where we walk the dogs.

DSC_8055Those big tracks were on this road.

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Scat with fur. There’s a lot of this on the trail. Probably coyotes.

So, I don’t know what kind of large & heavy animal left the topmost prints. Do you have an opinion? I’m hoping it’s a really big dog whose human didn’t leave any track at all.

 

 

23 thoughts on “Dog Or Mountain Lion?

  1. Because the mud was so soft they may look bigger than they would normally be; if there were several prints, how far apart were they? I will say it was a mountain lion. Remember though, I live in Ohio; mountain lions are pretty rare here, so I might not be a reliable source šŸ™‚

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  2. I didn’t make note of how far apart the prints were. (I was too creeped out.) I think you’re right that the mud amplifies the size of the prints. But even if I ignore the squishy part, just the section with paw pads is really big. I was thrown off by the impressions of claws – the drawing doesn’t show claws. But that could be explained by the mud. I would really like to return to this place for my dog walks. It’s so close & pleasant.
    Thanks for weighing in Mic!

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  3. I think it’s a big dog and the scat is probably coyotes, which are nocturnal. Is there a ranger station around there where you could ask what wildlife lives in those parts? I just googled and saw that a cougar was killed on the Borrego Canyon Trail in Apr. 2014. The ranger said eye contact and assertive behavior may deter them, which I’ve heard before. Eye contact means ‘don’t mess with me’ in cat language I guess!

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  4. Eric was a tracker in his younger days. He says it’s a canine making a sharp right turn for sure. That’s part of what makes the imprint look larger in what was likely soft mud when the track was made. It’s hard to see the claw marks because the print is so deep and that turn the critter was making. I could easily picture it as a Great Dane or something like that. Let us know what you find out from the ranger station.

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    1. Oh great! Now, besides watching the bushes for something leaping out at me, and watching the ground for rattlesnakes, I have to watch the sky for anvils falling on me!

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