Thursday, February 23, 2012

Posing with an animal you just shot and killed and smiling about it? WTF

It is beyond me to understand how anyone could shoot a magnificent creature like this for fun. He is not human and he should certainly not be in charge of wildlife anywhere. If I were queen, he'd be in prison. Mountain lions tend to shy away from humans, and aren't generally a danger to us. And I will *never* be convinced that their already tiny populations ought to be decreased because they are such a threat to ranchers and their profits. AFAIC, the mountain lions were there first. *Legally* he did nothing wrong, I guess, except that he went to another state where it is legal to kill mountain lions and shot one there since it is illegal to do so in California (as the article says, he is thumbing his nose at California law, which as a fish and game official he is supposed to uphold. But, posing with the poor dead animal and smiling about it??? W.T.F!
I would never say that we should approach them, but they don't tend to seek humans out as prey. According to the CO Department of Natural Resources, human encounters with mountain lions have increased in recent years because of human encroachment on their habitat. But, their diet is deer, not human. And the site even says that if a person is attacked by a mountain lion that he or she should fight back because they have been driven back by that sort of behavior. I am sorry that your friend's nephew was killed, but I would want to know the circumstances under which he was killed before I agree that the mountain lion was a danger to him, stalked and killed him. Did the man take adequate precautions? Or did he engage in behavior that would make him more likely to be thought of as prey by the cat?

I believe that if we go camping in wilderness, we are on their turf and as such, some animals will be a danger to us. It doesn't have to be big cats. It can be spiders or snakes that are poisonous enough to kill us. But, I don't hear about the big bad hunters going out to kill them. Are they out there doing it? Doubtful. It's not sexy (unless it's a big ol' anaconda out there somewhere) and you can't really pose with a dead spider and think yourself a big, tough, hunter.

I remember when my husband and I were in AK, we were told that they lost at least a few tourists to grizzlies every year. Most often, it was because the tourists were irresponsible and didn't behave properly on the grizzlie's turf. I heard the same information in Africa about lions when I went on photo safari. The animals are doing what they naturally do, and if we come into their habitat and have the expectation that we get special treatment because we are human, it is to our detriment. So, we take guns/high powered rifles with scopes, etc. to do our killing and we call it sport. As far as I'm concerned, that isn't sport, it is murder.

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