By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- A young mountain lion had taken up residence under a farm porch in Nebraska. Nebraska has a growing population of lions. As with most predators, when the young reach adolescence, they are driven from the territories of their parents. The choice is stark, the proverbial natural order without food stamps, or magical lemonade springs. Find their own territory with enough prey animals to kill and eat; or starve. Most starve.
This lion was a bit smaller than most adolescents. Perhaps its mother had been killed in a fight with another lion, or had been fatally wounded by a deer that decided not to be dinner. Some friends of mine, decades ago, were running an early mountain lion study. One of their lions, with a tracking collar, had stopped moving. When they investigated, they found that the animal had impaled itself, mouth first, on a jagged branch. It was likely pursuing dinner at the time. Animal accidents are much more common than most people realize. There is no OSHA or workers comp in the natural world.
For whatever reason, this cat was on his own, and he decided to take up residence under a farmer's porch. The farmers tried to chase him off, but he would not give up his new territory. They were forced to shoot him. There was no real alternative. From jrn.com:
WHITECLAY, Neb. (KMTV)- A young male mountain lion has been fatally shot in northwestern Nebraska according to the Game and Parks Commission.
A spokesperson for the commission says the homeowner and neighbor were working outside when they heard growling from under the farmhouse's porch. He says the cougar was shot when the two couldn't get the animal to leave the property.
Animals always produce more offspring than can be fed. Some animals have to die so that others can live. Death is necessary for life. Is a mountain lion more deserving of life than the rabbit, deer or house cat that it kills to eat, so that it can survive? It is a foolish question.
Long study of eco-systems show that the idea of a “balance of nature” is a myth. There are feedback loops that mostly keep everything from dying off all at once, but the process is bumpy, dynamic, and the mix of species constantly changing. Everything dies in the end. The most that can be hoped for is that offspring have been produced and survive to produce their own.
Some commenters at the article seem to think that nothing ever has to die. From Marlene Scott:
Why couldn't this baby cougar have been tranquilized and then removed from the property? He couldn't have been an imminent threat considering his size and age! The homeowner should have called the sheriff before killing the 4 month old cougar to at least attempt to have the cat tranquilized. Very sad.
The cat was 40 lbs, probably very hungry, and desperate. Marlene likely does not know that a large percentage of “tranquillized” animals die in the process, and that the “relocation” of predators has a very high casualty rate. All of these alternate “solutions” take lots of time, money, and other resources. Marlene gets lot of feedback. From Adam Stohs:
Apparently everyone thinks a mountail lion is a cute cuddly little fur ball. They are not ferocious killers either, and deserve their place. That being said, there is a reason why it was under the PORCH of a HOUSE!!! Either it was sick and had some disease, or its mother was dead. Its only 4 months old people! Cubs stay with their mothers for at least a year! It had moved into that dwelling because it was desperate, and a desperate predator is a bad situation. The article said they tried to make it leave, it wouldn't go. They took the threat into their own hands, and in my opinion made the right call. I'd about be willing to put a hundred dollar bill on the table Game and Parks would have shot it to.
If people tried to care for all the animals that are born, they would quickly be impoverished by the sheer mass of animal freeloaders willing to accept free food. That is why millions of dogs and cats have to be destroyed in shelters each year. Give out free food and care, and the animals just produce more animals until they overwhelm the system. The classic illustration of this for a nation raised on television, is “The Trouble with Tribbles“. Except, there isn't any handy Klingon battle cruiser to “transport” them to. Even if there were, the tribbles transported would not survive for long.
Everyone knows of the local “cat lady” that cannot say “no” to taking in cats, until they overwhelm her resources.
Man has formed symbiotic relationships with the animals that we have domesticated. They live relatively pleasant, danger free lives up until we humanely kill them for our needs. The modern hunter harvests prey with much less pain and terror than other predators do.
Some people live in a fantasy bubble where nothing ever has to die, no one has to make hard choices, and every ending is a happy ending. They are only allowed these delusions by the work of people who do the hard deeds that they are incapable of.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.