Darby couple records mountain lions feeding on elk carcass

2012-10-25T12:00:00Z 2012-10-25T13:34:29Z Darby couple records mountain lions feeding on elk carcassBy DAVID ERICKSON - Ravalli Republic missoulian.com
October 25, 2012 12:00 pm  • 

DARBY – A Darby couple has captured some amazing video footage of several mountain lions feeding on an elk carcass in their pasture.

Ben Ricciardi, who lives with his wife Betty on the West Fork Road near the Nez Perce cutoff, noticed that something had killed an elk in his pasture about a week ago. He set up a motion-detecting camera pointed at the carcass out of curiosity, and the footage he got was incredible.

In two separate 10-second clips, a group of mountain lions can be seen hanging around the carcass at night. One lion can be seen chewing on the carcass and dragging it a little ways.

“I’ve never seen nothing like it,” Ricciardi said. “That carcass is only 75 or 80 feet from my house. They devoured that whole elk in three days. Hide, bones, everything. They really did.”

The couple estimated that there were six mountain lions at one point, judging by the glow of their eyes in the footage.

“They came back three nights in a row that I know of,” Ricciardi said. “I’ve never hunted mountain lions, because I never thought much about shooting them out of a tree. But I don’t like predators in my backyard either. I’ve been here 22 years and I’ve never seen anything like that.”

To see video of the lions visit RavalliRepublic.com.

Reach reporter David Erickson at 363-3300 or david.erickson@ravallirepublic.com.

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(5) Comments

  1. The_Boneshackler
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    The_Boneshackler - October 25, 2012 5:38 pm
    Sure. I saw a herd of 30-40 deer off of Kona Ranch Road on my way back from sighting in the hunting rifles the other day. The Missoula City Council is applying for a grant to study the urban deer population and to come up with a plan to cull the herd (as is done in Helena). Last year, a black bear attempted to gain entrance to the Missoula Airport terminal. Tons of wildlife here.
  2. superiornative
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    superiornative - October 25, 2012 3:24 pm
    Once upon a time there was a valley loaded with ungulates and predators alike. This valley is now home to a small town called Missoula, but every animal was shot and poached and hit by cars and trapped so that you could feel comfortable there. Protect your own, good luck with the kitties!
  3. spanky
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    spanky - October 25, 2012 12:22 pm
    Born and raised in Western Montana. I'm sure I've been stalked by things with sharper teeth than me. Never felt the need to to hunt them. Just admire from a distance.
  4. spartanmt
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    spartanmt - October 25, 2012 11:26 am
    exactly, matthew
  5. Matthew Koehler
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    Matthew Koehler - October 25, 2012 8:37 am
    The article and photo caption claims that this incident took place "near Darby."

    As a matter of fact, the junction of the West Fork Road and Nez Perce cutoff is approximately 20 miles from Darby (ie 5 miles south and then 15 miles west into the mountains), surrounded by some of the most remote country in the lower 48 states.

    If this person doesn't "like predators in my backyard"...perhaps they should have bought a home in Chicago, instead of on the edge of some of the wildest country in the US.
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