Saturday, July 16, 2016

Massive Massacres by the Panthers our west farm was hit!

The purpose of writing this is to share a warning to any animal lovers within a few hundred miles of us.  You could have an unexpected visit by a panther and lose not only your animals but your peace of mind.  The panther is a carnivore and will eat pet cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, baby goats and cows and pigs, etc. In addition they carry the Feline Leukemia Disease which they can transmit to domestic cats and there is no cure or vaccination for that debilitating disease.  It is not a pleasant article but it is "real to life on a farm".  God will heal the heart but since poor animal management decisions made in Florida are suffered by Georgians or Alabamians if that is the correct language.

Warning, in addition to the bear spotted in Carrollton, please be on the alert for relocated wild Panthers from Florida as well as other wild panthers. The Garry Farm has had a screaming entity that lives in the woods and then created the most horrific massacre ever experienced by our farm.  NOT A JOKE folks. It is a predator in a most unnatural setting. I've heard the sound for a few weeks and yesterday found out its animal kingdom entity. I used to think a tv set had been left on a nature channel. and checked all around. It is not a screech owl, a coyote, a fox,it is not a fowl. The animal can easily maintain 35 mph - no problem. In less than a 6 hour travel they could be from our farm to Atlanta, or N. GA, or Alabama, no problem... The screams start early am - around 1 to 3 am - at least that's when the sounds woke me up. . It moves swiftly and powerfully. I saw a deer on the side of our road that was not hit in any fashion. How did it die? no usual hit marks by automobiles.. I suspect it ran itself into heart attack. It was fairly young. The woods predator would easily knock me over if it so desired. Normally they do not attack humans but they might not be happy if humans interrupted their dinner plans. They are in the woods of Georgia thanks to the release program of Florida who released them into natural reserves in the wetlands between our states as Florida had an excess and they were seen as an endangerment to household pets and small animals. so under the auspices of save the nearly extinct animals hundreds were released in the everglades. as the everglades became encroached by roads and construction of all sorts etc, the animals spilled over into GA and Ala. Tall fences DO not keep out foxes, or panthers... Sadly the predator does NOT respect borders or boundaries and doesn't read maps and is a real and present danger to farmers as well as anyone with pets that go outside. Hubby told me some local farmers have also lost livestock. 

Less than half of what was slain on the farm..... (the white geese had already been relocated). 

Here's a picture of one of the beauties up close when I was helping hubby move them to their huge pen with 6 foot high fences and shelters and pools..... 

Ironically the panther is less and less endangered and has taken out all by three of our large Saxony ducks flock which was on the critical endangered list. Can you see how big that pure Saxony drake was and he was NOT even fully grown!

An update to the blog is that all but three of my adult Show Quality Holdread ducks were slain by panther and what appears to be cubs it was training to kill prey as well as possibly a presumptive first strike by male panther ...   I cannot bear to post pictures of the slaying and only recently did my husband give me the full count as I have been very critically ill and he thought the stress would have been very bad.  He was right. Though initially upset not to be told the full truth, after crying and crying and crying about the tragedy, I knew he was right...I could not have stood the news at a time I was having such serious medical issues. I thought the birds were in the back part of the huge fenced in grassy lot we had them in.  After egg laying, they are let out to explore the grass and enjoy live.  Just before the incident I was saying to hubby, if my health continues to do poorly, please keep our precious ducks.  I loved the duck eggs and love to see them grow up and waddle and chat so so.  So fun and friendly. When I think of their last few hours of life, I cannot.  They were asleep when it happened and it's a miracle that the two girls and one guy survived under a mass of death and destruction.   A precious friend said I can start over.   I'm afraid I cannot, I no longer have the diversity for the breeding program I need, but more importantly I no longer feel I can keep anything safe on our farm and if I start from ordering babies for the future, It is too late for this season.   So basically our three year old breeding program will be set back at least two more years and that is a long time in my life. Sending babies in air transit will be too hot on the plane and certainly not bode well for transit.  Holderead doesn't ship eggs, I would gladly try that with this breed.  I saved for almost two years to buy these special birds. I bought two boxes full and ordered 25 birds a box two boxes at over nine dollars a bird plus express shipping so the babies alone were hundreds of dollars, more than we could afford, truly, but I had saved and skimped and sold to buy them. It would cost us well over $500.00 for two boxes of express shipped babies if I could buy them now plus express shipping if mailing temps were right and birds not already prebooked..And then there was the special feed that they needed for months before the first egg even arrived.   As we sold out geese, white puff headed common ducks and other bird groupings, the funds went to the new special duck fund! It took a long time until laying begain - I was so excited to get them as Saxony ducks are an endanged breed that was well known for large body type and great weather diversity, withstanding extreme cold and heat very well.  I know it's not much compared to other person's animal losses, but I'm so destraught and discouraged by constant predators, two legged human types, four legged, slithering kinds, fox, raccoons, oppossums, hawks and more  I know that this animal can come back and likely will as they do have "hunting memory!" The odd thing there was a very open pen with about 11 roos/hens due for relocation and it was not selected.  I guess there is a preference for ducks, they are so friendly and trusting and then they are no more.  

I only know if I had been in or near the pen, I would have fought with a frying pan and a hoe to protect my beloved ducks and safe as many as I could.  Yes the lightweight wannabe seasoned farmer weighing in at 100 plus pounds would have taken this on. I chased coyotes in flip flops with two hoes! I still have duck nightmares and I cannot think of this without tears.     I am praying God will give me full amnesia about the massacre.

For more about the panther:

" Florida panthers live alone, unless a pair is mating or a female is raising cubs.  Males roam much larger territories than the females.  A male can make a territory over 200-250 square miles in size."  The female had finished her birthing and was teaching cubs how to hunt.  cubs will kill in imitation but usually only eat what mother brings them until they are fully trained. 
To read more about the relocation program go here:  Florida Panther

If I have affronted anyone by my blunt openness I am sorry.  I have thought and prayed about posted the massacre scene and I do not want that in your memory as well as mine.  When humans try to decide to relocate animals, they so often fail.  The foxes in GA were relocated in areas along the river rafting and they also have invaded cities and countryside.  The fox  by no means a rare animal, they are an ever present danger anywhere.  Rabies from them continue to happen every year at any increasing rate.    California already limited its fox relocation program and recognized that "Non-native red foxes pose a documented threat to many vulnerable species and ecosystems because they are so highly adaptable and are such adept hunters."   

I would add amen and THAT for any species that is a meat hunter we should study the impact on communities, farmers and backyard hobbyist or anyone that has a pet......

Well be knowledgeable that there are things that lurk in the dark and they are not all our friends....