The Santa Ana Pueblo covers 73,000 acres along the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. It’s an area bereft of humans, but rich with game.
Recently, the Pueblo of Santa Ana Department of Natural Resources collected data on a collared mountain lion. They named the cougar Brokenleg because it had a noticeable bulbous calcification on its right rear leg, the result of an old break. Their primary goal with tracking the big male cat was to better understand its predation patterns. What they found was astounding.
Over a 15-month period, the lion killed and ate 24 badgers, the most common animal it preyed upon in that window. During that time, the cat also ate one mouflon sheep, one feral dog, two porcupines, eight beavers, and nine coyotes. Besides odd eats, Brokenleg killed two mule deer, two antelope, and 17 elk. Nine of the elk were calves, six were cows, and two were bulls.
“We don’t capture him on camera very often, but because we are usually a couple steps behind sneaking in to verify his kills, we have a pretty good understanding of his varied diet over a 15-month period,” the DNR wrote in a Facebook post. “Let’s just say, you wouldn’t want to be a badger around him.”
And I was under the impression that I’m the only one who likes eating badger.
Feature image via Pueblo of Santa Ana DNR.