Home / Predator / The Tan Death! Mountain Lions Carry “The Plague!”

The Tan Death! Mountain Lions Carry “The Plague!”

Researchers in the GYE or Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have discovered that nearly half of the Mountain Lions they’ve tested carry The Plague. The same plague that’s been called The Black Death and killed millions of people across the planet throughout history. 

This discovery has come as quite a surprise as the prevalence of the disease was not fully comprehended. Of the 28 lions studied 43% tested positive for the plague and also showed signs of pneumonia. While one cougar whose blood was tested repeatedly over a multi-year period tested negative then positive and then negative again proving that at least some of the cats are able to create antibodies to the disease. 

Is this a danger to humans? Not likely, unless you’re a lion hunter who handles dead cats. An Arizona cougar researcher died in 2007 from pneumonic plague after conducting a routine autopsy of a dead lion. This tells us that lion hunters should be taking extra caution in the field while handling cats and if they start to feel ill days later they need to see a doctor to rule out the plague or start antibiotic treatments. 

Now for a little editorial. I have to think that these cats are picking up the plague from rodents they are consuming; marmots, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, etc., therefore it stands to reason that other predators consuming the same prey animals could or do carry the plague as well. Wolves, bears, coyotes, foxes, badgers, you name it and I think you get the idea. I AM NOT a biologist and I don’t know nor can I prove this theory BUT I would recommend that handling these animals with gloves and changing, then washing the clothes you wore would be good practice. Also, keep an eye on your health. If after you handle one of these animals, lions especially, you feel sick, go see your doctor! 

Well those are my dos pesos and I’ll relinquish my soap box. However, what do you think? Am I way off base?

About Todd Helms

Todd Helms

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10 comments

  1. I guess the bigger question would be is to determine where the food chain is getting the plague from and try and deal with it at the source.

    Is it in the ground? Water? Local plants? Lack of certain minerals? Overpopulation? The predators are now carriers? Can they spread by social contact?

    • Lawrence Wilson

      Bubonic plague is generaly caused by flea bites, Pneumonic plague can be transmited to humans by coming into doplets or untreated Bubonic plague. Pneumatic plague is more dangerous to us in general because it can be transmited amoung us by social contact.

  2. And here in Colorado we are required to prepare for human consumption……??

  3. Interesting to hear that nearly 50% of lions were infected with plague. It’s a fascinating bacteria not a virus by the way, yersenia pestisand one of the reasons it’s so fun to shoot the hell out of a prairie dog town which are a primary host. Would bet in more northern climes that the infection rate is lower. Should be a very low transmission rate as lions are harvested in winter / early spring and fleas are the issue, albeit if lions are infected bold and fluids can cause infection. U get swollen nodes u likely got it. No different than dealing with rabbits and tularemia really. No need for panic but increased reason for caution and extra steps with handling. In the mean time everyone hunting early season deer and elk like archery season and drops an animal knows u get covered up with yellow jackets and hornets. Get ready for next invasive species Asian murder hornets – like a snake bite !

  4. Funny your worrying about this and not the the current VIRUS pandemic? GO Figure!

    • You do know that life doesn’t just stop because there is a pandemic. I won’t tell you how to live, but as for me, I like to know what is going on in the world besides just the constant barrage of fear mongering produced by the 24-hour news cycle. Then again, maybe all things should just come to a screeching halt until government or our pharmaceutical companies can insure not a single person dies from the this virus. Would you prefer that route?

  5. If you want to cry about your pandemic go to a blog that talks about that subject. You must of really meant to say what is this country going to do to China for killing 65k and counting Americans? Let alone the other 150k humans from 184 countries. You better get ready for war and hell of allot tougher times.

  6. In Colorado the praire dogs carry bubonic plague. It’s in their bloodstream.

  7. We’re all probably not careful enough when handling wildlife especially predators. They have all the bad stuff we pay big money trying to prevent our pets from getting.
    Oh, and the best way to punish China is to quit buying the junk they produce with slave labor wages. our gov won’t do much because the debt we have with them.

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