An irresponsibly worded article on Science Blog gets to the heart of the Mountain Lion preservation issue if you can read past the author’s clear bias. It is not the cat who should be said to bump into human populations/lands. Humans should stop bumping into their territory. That is so poorly worded, I cringe!
These cats were unarguably there first. They didn’t just suddenly show up one day amid human suburbs and city streets. I think a science article should avoid casual ‘victim blaming,’ if you will, of an endangered species. I for one am tired of people maligning these lions as vicious killers: “The puma ate my baby!” That’s a horrible thing to have to endure, but the cat is living according to it’s niche. There is no malice on the part of the cat. They aren’t sitting there plotting human destruction. Often times, the human is at fault for these run ins. That very case, which happened in California many years ago was due to the neglect of the parent. Yes. They left their child unattended in their mountain/forest home site in a bouncy swing chair, just short of slathering the baby up with barbecue sauce.
I remember reading that article and giving myself a hearty face-palm. The negligence of humans leads to tragedy for themselves and the wildlife they affect. The lion was of course ‘euthanized,’ the catch-all response to incidents involving humans and wildlife. It attacked a person! Kill it! NO! It behaved according to the natural law that it was born under and is expected to abide in order to survive. Only humans defy the natural order of things and find the attack of person by a wild animal to be worthy of violent response from the populace. We’ve not grown much past living in caves, obviously.
The territory of these animals is known. If you are a hiker, or resident, then it is your responsibility to have researched and prepared for the possibility of an encounter. Furthermore, it should always be the fault of the human–unless that cat walked miles into Los Angeles and knocked on somebodies door, mauled them to death and then was later found with evidence that they had been stalking the deceased. Sound absurd? It is also absurd for humans to expect Mountain Lions to just up and decide not to be predators and view humans as prey.
Just a thought…Humans could go a long way to avoiding dangerous wildlife, considering we have a lot more options than they do. I’d love to see legislation making it illegal to hike in natural areas so wildlife, plant and animal, can have a chance against the biggest and nastiest predator: humans. Humans should be limited to parks that are uninhabited by dangerous wildlife. That we might have to legislate that proves the willful negligence of people. Don’t just chalk it up to ignorance. Most people only care about what they want–and being thoughtful about their footprint is not a consideration.
The following study could have been written far better, to do justice the issue holistically instead of painting lions as mass murders encroaching on human property with bloodthirsty vengeance. It is a science magazine, so where is the objectivity?