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Seventy2002
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Seventy2002
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PostSat Apr 07, 2018 9:24 am 
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pcg wrote:
Anyone ever been attacked by a mountain beaver?

I saw one ambling down the sidewalk on my way to work. I stopped for a closed look. The beav came up and sniffed my boots. He found them non-threatening and inedible and went on his way, as did I.
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DigitalJanitor
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PostSat Apr 07, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Family lore says my grandfather and dad were out on a logging job on the southern Oregon coast eating lunch when they saw something small moving nearby. Grandpa wound up dropping his hat on it, but somehow in the process identified the captured critter as a mountain beaver. A brief discussion ensued about what was going to happen next but grandpa was quite firm on one point: mountain beaver were ferocious when cornered and they'd be better off just letting it go ASAP.

This was backed up by a few grad students I met in the 90s that got one in a live trap. Apparently it had a memorably nasty opinion about the matter, lol.

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coldrain108
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PostMon Apr 09, 2018 9:22 am 
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pcg wrote:
Anyone ever been attacked by a mountain beaver

In the ONP I got between a mountain beaver and is escape hatch.  Walking up the Canyon Creek trail, probably about a mile above Sol Duc Falls, not really paying attention when I hear a really loud noise...and a mountain beaver goes flying right across my toes and into its hole.  The noise of it racing to beat me to the nexus of its hole and my feet, startled me.  Initially I though what the bleep is marmot doing down here in the forest?  Next to the hole there was a nice pile of fresh greens all stacked and ready for delivery.  When I got back I talked to the critter specialist here at work and she said most definitely mountain beaver, she has a stuffed one in the collection- yep that's it.

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"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing"  - Albert Einstein
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Schroder
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PostMon Apr 09, 2018 11:57 am 
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I once saw a coyote on top of the haystack on Mt Si.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostMon Apr 09, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Schroder, now THAT is an animal in an unexpected place.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Apr 09, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Saw a mink on top of Squak once, nasty critter hissed at us and came at us.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Bernardo
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PostMon Apr 09, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
I once saw a coyote on top of the haystack on Mt Si.

That's interesting.  Maybe it went after a leftover sandwich.  There's not a lot of room up there.  Where were you when this happened?
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gb
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PostTue Apr 10, 2018 9:10 am 
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In the summer of 1986 I did a day trip traverse of Mt. Hoffman and Tuolumne Peak from near May Lake in upper Yosemite National Park. From near the summit of Mt. Hoffman at 10,850' I spotted a California Condor circling the peak about 500' above. It couldn't have been a Turkey Vulture in this alpine location I believe. You often see the vultures over arid desert/semi-desert lands. This must have been one of the last wild Condors as all were reportedly captured by 1987.

A breeding program ensued and wild Condors were once again released in the 1990's. I don't recall the year but I believe in the mid or late 1990's I hiked a loop from Bright Angel coming out the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. High on the South Kaibab three California Condors flew past me at a distance of 30-40'. As they flew past, their heads turned and at least one of them looked directly at me. I burst out laughing because they were so very ugly (from my point of view).
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Brushbuffalo
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PostTue Apr 10, 2018 9:29 am 
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gb wrote:
As they flew past, their heads turned and at least one of them looked directly at me. I burst out laughing because they were so very ugly (from my point of view).

I would love to see even one California condor, and you have seen several!
Maybe the condor who looked was laughing at you in turn , as if " Why does that thing stay on the ground and not soar around like any self-respecting bird, like us?"

Or maybe it thought us humans are funny looking dizzy.gif

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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pcg
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PostTue Apr 10, 2018 3:16 pm 
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gb wrote:
In the summer of 1986 I ... spotted a California Condor circling the peak about 500' above... This must have been one of the last wild Condors as all were reportedly captured by 1987.

Pretty cool!
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 3:53 pm 
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Second hand encounters count?

Got an email from my mom recently, she was awakened early in the morning by a loud commotion outside.  Got up, looked out the window, saw what she described as a large, healthy looking cougar having a stare down w/ a coyote that was yapping up  a storm.  A second coyote was a bit further away also making some noise.  Eventually the cougar moved on.

They live in a rural area, on the edge of some woods.  See deer and turkey frequently in the yard.  Used to hear coyotes on the hillside behind the house when I was growing up.  Can't say that I was ever aware of having a coyote or a cougar in the front yard, let alone both at the same time.  Pretty dang cool!  I'm jealous.


Maybe not entirely unexpected, but I'm pretty sure I saw 4 or more sea otters lazily floating around in Bowman Bay at Deception Pass SP recently.
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JonnyQuest
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Not really in a strange place, but certainly a memorable event...

Back in the prior century, we were driving up well past Spur 10 Gate to hike up the main peak of Mt. Index.  Somewhere up in the NF Tolt valley we rounded a corner and there was a mountain goat right in the road.  Big, beautiful, and fluffy white.  Instead of getting off the road, it turned tail and started running down the road away from us.  My friend who was driving sped up enough for us to pull alongside, and I rolled down the window and got a couple of great photos of it in full gallop right beside us.  Of course, that was back when I was shooting slides with my Rollei, so no photos to post  frown.gif
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Brushbuffalo
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 5:39 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Do second-hand encounters count?

Sure, as long as they are reasonable.  For example, if someone claims they had Bigfoot throw rocks at their campfire, please start your own thread.

olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Maybe not entirely unexpected, but I'm pretty sure I saw 4 or more sea otters lazily floating around in Bowman Bay at Deception Pass SP recently.

That would be exciting and a fairly rare encounter in the San Juans. Although river otters are commonly seen around the islands even in salt water, sea otters are much more frequent along the open coast compared to in the Salish Sea.  However, according to the findings in the Washington State Sea Otter Recovery Plan, sea otters sometimes venture into the far eastern reaches of the Strait  of Juan de Fuca.

So you may indeed have seen sea otters! Were they floating belly-side up? That is a trait not shared by river otters, who swim dorsal-side up and being hyperactive, don't lazily float around.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Brushbuffalo wrote:
So you may indeed have seen sea otters! Were they swimming or floating on their backs? That is a trait.

I wasn't close enough to be able to tell if they were floating on their backs or their stomachs.  The whole body was near the surface of the water.  They weren't even really paddling, just kind of hovering at the surface.  Then instead of diving they would just kind of sink below the surface.  It looked like they were putting almost no effort into locomotion, that's why I used the word lazy earlier.  I've seen seals and sea lions in the water and these were moving entirely differently than what I've seen before.

I was also not able to see if they came back up to the surface holding any food items that they were cracking open and eating.  I figured that would be the whole reason for them to descend and then reappear at the surface again.

The bodies appeared dark brown but the head/face was lighter.  That seems consistent w/ pictures of sea otters I looked at afterward.  Also really doubt they were river otters because those appear almost hyper kinetic in their movements and again these critters were using the bare minimum amount of effort to move around.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 6:57 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
The bodies appeared dark brown but the head/face was lighter.  That seems consistent w/ pictures of sea otters I looked at afterward.  Also really doubt they were river otters because those appear almost hyper kinetic in their movements and again these critters were using the bare minimum amount of effort to move around.


Some animals that are listed as endangered in the region where sighted can qualify as being in an  "unexpected place"  even if it is their normal habitat. This qualifies.

I'm a geologist with only an undergrad minor in zoology, but it certainly seems that you indeed saw sea otters, based on what you've said about appearance and behavior.  That's arguably not as thrilling as seeing what were later confirmed as wolverine tracks by Chris and Radka but these sea otters are pretty darn cool in any case.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Animals in unexpected places
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