Posted by: petsweekly | July 16, 2010

Mountain Lions and other Scary Animals

Big Cat Rescue

Last week, in my quest for a timely blog topic, I ran across a lot of stuff I could have chosen. All of it is worth writing about. For example, there’s the endangered Mexican wolf of the Hawks Nest pack in AZ that was found shot to death and the pack that will take years to recover from this loss. But other than the official-sounding news report I did, it’s just too sad to write about yet.

There’s the ongoing problem with the overflowing animal shelters nationwide in the summer flow of people dumping their pets. Most of these animals will be destroyed within a week.

I still have some things to write about the people who cared for Tristan after his death. They were absolutely amazing and I want to be sure they get some publicity because I strongly recommend them. But again, too sad…

Of course, there’s the oil spill that needs some additional PR, but frankly – I’m just tired of all the tragedies.

Finally, I ran across this article in the MLF Cougar Clipping Newsletter:

Lion Killed for Eating Deer and Not Harming Dog (Wait… what?)

Due to public demand, Colorado’s Division of Wildlife has  relocated a few mountain lions in recent years. Cougars that accidentally wander near populated areas have successfully been moved to wilder landscapes. Yesterday, one of these cats – marked with an orange ear tag – was seen along a narrow greenbelt in Chaffee County that connects two large mountain ranges (Gunnison and San Isabel National Forests). And then he was shot. The cougar had set up a temporary den near his deer kill beside Cottonwood Creek. A nearby resident’s dog got out and was sniffing around the deer. According to the owner, the lion was simply trying to protect his dinner and raised paw to bat the dog away. The woman called to her dog who promptly returned to the house unharmed. She phoned the CO Division of Wildlife who – after discovering it was one of their relocated
lions – immediately decided the cat should be killed. It is unclear why the agency felt it was necessary to take such drastic measures, and many residents are fearing it is an excuse to prevent any future relocations of cougars.

Seriously. That’s what happened – I didn’t even change a word of it. The article is here if you want to read it.

Call me crazy, but I thought that’s what we wanted mountain lions to do. I mean, a well-behaved mountain lion just shouldn’t eat your dog. Instead, they should give your pup a wave and march after that mean ole deer.

Personally, I think that this particular mountain lion should have been praised, maybe even brought in to teach little baby mountain lion cubs about how to get along with city-folk.

People, people, people… I know you’re afraid of big cats. You should be – they’re really, really scary. And we all know what humans do when they’re scared of something – they kill the thing that is scaring them. We’ve seen it throughout history with wolves, snakes, mice and even on occasion, other humans.

But all this little mountain lion wanted to do was eat his deer in peace. He didn’t want a big dog jumping at him as he ate, and he even politely warned the dog off without even hurting it.

Then what do we humans do? Jump in and say, “Kill the beast! Waahahaha!” (that was supposed to be an evil laugh – like when the villagers went after Frankenstein and his monster.)

Geez, folks… they aren’t sharks with freaking laser beams attached to their heads, they’re cougars! And guess what? They’ve been around a lot longer than we have.

There is nothing more irritating to me than people who kill wildlife because humans decided to build their home on the outskirts of town.  (Okay, there probably are things more irritating to me, but this rates in the Top Ten.)

Here’s the thing – if you don’t want a mountain lion in your backyard (or a coyote, or a snake or anything else for that matter), then go get yourself a nice apartment in the city.

Seriously – just move back to your secure metropolis and get the hell out of the suburbs. Our behavior is getting ridiculous… You can’t move to the middle of the desert and then be shocked when a rattlesnake sidles up beside you while you’re admiring the sunset from your new patio, or a coyote decides your pool would be a great place to cool off in the 116 degree weather.

Look around you. You’re not in the city anymore. It may seem like you are when you see the Homeowners Association regulators drive around in their little Toro golf carts, but let’s face it – you’re in the wild.  And if you don’t start acting like it, there’s a good chance you will probably be mauled to death.

Just the other day, there were reports of a mountain lion wandering through our neighbor’s backyards. While we’re a ways out of the city, we’re not THAT far out. The cougar has been seen as many 4 times in the past 2 months. I think it’s pretty cool. My neighbors disagree.

Most of them disagree because they have little tiny dogs that a big cat would just view as a snack. Can’t say I blame my neighbors for a little paranoia. I worry about my kitties too, but I know they are safe in a large indoor/outdoor enclosure that is strong enough to contain large wolf dogs, so I’m not worried about a cougar. Besides, if the cougar showed up at our place, my own little semi-ferals would probably give him a run for his money!

I don’t know how it is in Wisconsin, but out here in the deserts of Arizona, the housing economy is expanding so rapidly that snakes are going into hibernation in the fall and eight weeks later, they wake up in someone’s backyard being chased by a guy with a shovel. Now how is that fair?

Here’s the thing – Game and Fish needs to be regulated a lot better. Why? Because I think a lot of their decisions are based on the hunters desires rather than what is best for the state. It’s easier to justify the kill of a cougar when it means that one less deer is available for the hunters.

I’m not totally opposed to hunting. I’m not really supportive of it, but I do think that responsible hunters, those who actually consume what they hunt and don’t do it solely for “fun”, actually serve an occasional purpose.

The other hunters out there are my problem. They are the ones who take the “biggest and strongest” of a species, which is NOT helping the species. They are the trophy hunters who think their dick is bigger because they can take out an animal at 20 yards, or worse, from a canned hunt in someone’s backyard. Nothing more noble than shooting an animal in a box (or fish in a barrel).

Whatever.

Doesn’t seem like much of a challenge to me.  I can throw a can accurately at 20 yards. Doesn’t mean I can do anything else in life.

I’m not sure where this is going (as usual) other than I think we need to respect wildlife. Every creature serves a purpose – even us. And who are we decide which are the more important types of species?

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Responses

  1. Nicely said. And I do say that, meaning that you are very composed, and able to express yourself well about topics such as this, where someone such as myself, would fail miserably. And that would probably be the primary reason I don’t even attempt to publish a blog.
    Your final words summed everything up. However, if people haven’t come to total realization of just how important and reliant all species, plant and animal, are on each other by this point in evolution or development, it’s highly doubtful there will be a realization, in time to make much of a difference in what seems to be the inevitable outcome.
    Face it. Humans are far to arrogant and caught up in both, their world as a species and as individuals, to even consider stopping, to take a moment to really “look” . Looking usually is very frightening, if a person is seeing clearly and honestly when they actually do look. What animal enjoys the sensation which total “fear” floods their senses? Not the feeling that one may get by skydiving, or dropping, from the highest point on a roller coaster, but the kind of fear felt when a gun is being held at your head, or at the head of one of your children. Would anyone actually want to have that feeling, voluntarly? Doubtful. So, why would people wish to step out of their comfortable state of denial, by stopping their self indulging behavior, to take a long, honest, clear look at just how “unintelligent”, we really are?
    It’s going to take something extremely drastic and more than likely, something that will probably be very sad and tragic, to enlighten our species, to a level of understanding, , which ironically, was alive and doing quite well, here in America, before the Europeans stumbled onto the continent, eventually slaughtering those who were Native to the land, and took over, putting into place, a form of religious practice which has caused more war and. Introduced to a society who never seem to be satisfied, and have become more lazy but still must work more in this time than ever, with technology. And for some really strange reason, which I for one, can’t figure out, we continue to insist that we are “progressing “!
    Where? How? Our precious technology is what is going to be our demise.
    But, I too can hope and dream that all will be as it should, when it is all said and done. I guess that’s how I get though each day.


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