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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Mountain Lion Kills

Recently there was a news report about a Colorado mountain biker who killed a mountain lion* "kitten" with his bare hands when it attacked him. My first question was what was the size of that "kitten" that it decided to attack a human being on a bike? Naturally the news report was silent about that in order to run the narrative that the man was cruel to kill it after it attacked him.

This idiocy of valuing an attacking wild animal over a man's well-being brought to mind a public presentation by a California National Park Service ranger that I attended years ago, during which the ranger mentioned that mountain lions kill on average about one woman or child per year. I talked to that NPS ranger about that after his presentation and he told me that he felt that kill rate was manageable because, "Women and children should not be out there (in public lands)." I got really steamed and I told him that I hoped he personally got sued for that policy of valuing lethal wild animals above human beings. Americans eradicated those massive feline predators from contact with our civilization to protect vulnerable humans and livestock, and now the weak and hateful in California were backsliding to bring back a bloody wilderness with unnecessary dangers. Mountain lions can weight up to 200 pounds of solid bone and muscle, which is more than many humans, especially women and children. And humans are not equipped with razor claws and fangs. Nor can humans jump 45 feet from a crouch. A mountain lion can run you down at 40 mph. When I encountered that middle-aged, weather-beaten, misanthropic park ranger years ago, he was deceptively touting around the skin of a "kitten" mountain lion cub as if it was the actual size of the grown beast. It was about the size of a heavy German Sheppard and he wanted our protection for it, saying that it was little and helpless. Liar. He stroked the beautiful animal pelt with pity, but women and children could fend for themselves in his world. I was dumbfounded and not a little frightened at this inner look into the mentality of the United States National Park Service.

Here's a recent idiotic quote from Fox News: "If looking bigger doesn't scare the mountain lion off, start throwing stones, branches, or whatever you can reach in its direction without crouching or turning your back. Don't throw things at it just yet. There is no need to unnecessarily injure the mountain lion, " the NPS suggests, adding if the creature does start to attack it's important to "fight back." In my opinion it is better to keep the mountain lion prides culled away from any confrontation with humanity.

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* The magnificent animal known variously as a mountain lion, cougar, puma, catamount, painter, panther, Felis concolor is a large American feline resembling a lion in size, weight, and ferocity. Its human kill statistics are hard to find which is a clue to deception, and the numbers vary. In my mind, one human killed by a mountain lion is one too many.

Caption: California mountain lions kill mostly women and children per NPS

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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