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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Tragic Loss

Well, we never expected this to happen. Today was a rather sad day at Red Granite Ranch.

This morning when the ranch hands were doing there morning chores and turn outs at our upper barns (barn 1 and barn 2) we received a phone call. From the fast words that came through the phone line we had to pause, and then hearing the words that no livestock owner wants to ever hear, our hearts stopped, "there are alpacas on the ground, and there not moving". We rushed from barn one to barn two in a heartbeat, dropping everything and not ready to see what we would.

A mountain lion decided to take the lives of two of our girls. It is obvious that they fought and sadly lost the fight, which breaks our hearts. What we think happened is the mountain lion first attacked Evangeline and was unable to get her over the fence (she is our largest girl on the ranch at 200 some pounds) so it then went after Meridian, who is much smaller in size. There was fresh spit laced all around the inside of the barn and we think the rest of the pen mates were spitting at the mountain lion trying to help the two other girls. Our guard llama in the group, Breezy, did an amazing job keeping the rest of them safe and she looked exhausted when we saw her, she had dried spit on her lips and just look tired. We are grateful that no other girls were injured, only exhausted. None of the other females have went inside the barn, making us think this incident happened somewhat inside the barn.

This mountain lion killed the two girls and left them inside the pen, didn’t touch them after killing and just left them there. We are truly devastated. It makes sense for it going after two alpacas, but killing for the sport makes us wonder if something was wrong with the mountain lion. We have tolerated not only these creatures but also coyotes and bobcats coming at the fence lines for years, but will not tolerate them attacking our animals. This is a second for us, as we have had mountain lion problems in the past and had to hunt that one down, but never have had one kill our animals. We believe that it will come back for another go at the girls, knowing it can get in and get at them. We will not allow it to and will make sure the rest of the girls are safe until it’s gone. This can happen to anyone and everyone, make sure you also take precautions and invest in livestock guardians, we have two Bernse Moutnain Dogs and a llama, and will be adding another dog. We have moved all the girls from that barn and fields to a safe location on the property until the wildlife officer sets his trap and hopefully catches the mountain lion.

May these two gentle, sweet girls Rest In Peace in alpaca heaven.

Crescent Moons Accoyo Evangeline (2013-2022) and NPA Meridian (2010-2022).