Many of you joined me in bemoaning the fact that these majestic animals had to wear such bulky hardware.
The good news is that the study that required that the animals wear all that stuff ended about a year ago. Last winter, our wildlife agency was supposed to remove all the hardware from our mountain lions. Indeed, as early as last February, we began to see mountain lions with long lithe necks and no collars in trail cam photos!
Alas, it should not be surprising that some mountain lions are still wandering around with non-functioning collars and/or ear tags.
Here's one that I called the wildlife agency about because he/she stayed in the same area for a couple of days. I thought that they might be able to trap him and remove the hardware if he was staying in the area to eat a kill. As far as all of us can tell, this lion was gone by the time the wildlife officer arrived. I was told that the GPS collar is not functioning so they can't track down the mountain lion without sightings like mine.
This lion somehow shed the GPS collar but still has ear tags.
I understand that collars fail and cats wriggle out of collars (while keeping their ear tags) so it makes sense that some cats are still living with that awful hardware. The hard part for me is knowing that the hardware will probably stay on these cats for the rest of their lives. I have always suspected that the hardware makes some aspects of their lives harder.
I made a short video of the sightings of collared cats plus a clip of one gorgeous and collarless mountain lion walking in the snow. They are awe-inspiring creatures. I hope that you enjoy it.