Loose Ends: Mountain lions a part of us

The recent mountain lion sightings in town have generated a spate of discussions, arguments, lectures, as well as comments.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about their presence and whether human intervention is required, especially when one presents an increasing danger to the residents and animals. The possibility of someone getting hurt is ever-present with the increasing reports and sightings.
An accident waiting to happen seems to be the view of most residents, as they are aware that tranquilizing and moving a lion is a much better solution that risking a dangerous animal/human incident.
No matter if an animal is innately skittish and shy, once they become used to humans, nothing good can come out of continued unexpected contact. Running into one in the parking lot of the hospital or in the driveway of one’s home would be more than disconcerting; an attack could be lethal.
Mountain lions have always been an important part of this area’s ecosystem, as well as its historical tradition with famous lion hunting expeditions of Teddy Roosevelt in the late 1800s. There are many years when the deer move into town for food, and the lions move with them. Yearly reports of pets disappearing or being killed by the passing lion on the hunt are common, but when one lion in particular has claimed a neighborhood as his own personal lair, efforts to trap the lion have been made.
Historical accounts of the adverse conditions faced by the area settlers include encounters with the wild and woolly wildlife, which included wolves, bear and mountain lions. Live and let live has been the attitude for many years, but what many people neglect to remember is that when their lives or livelihoods were threatened, they were able to take care of it on their own. The more development creeps out beyond the original city limits, the more likelihood there is for animal/human confrontation. It is not a problem that is going to go away soon.
dolly@theheraldtimes.com