Mountain Lions Are Dangerous Creatures
Mountain lions are dangerous creatures. I can appreciate the warnings, and even your respect for the animal, but I can't agree with blaming men for every attack (see Mountain Lion Attack). It's just as much in our nature to expand our territory as it is in theirs, and it's just as much our right to explore the wilderness as it is theirs. It's also just as much our right to respond with deadly force as it is theirs to attempt it.
In the video you have of the man being attacked from behind, if you'll notice, the cat was going for his neck. A quick and easy severing of the spinal column. He was in real danger, and he was lucky to have escaped with no severe injuries. Many other people have been hurt much, much worse, doing nothing but hiking, biking, or walking, along their daily routes. One woman had her face torn off by a cougar who had killed another biker shortly before.
Furthermore, not all cougars can be chased off, and those who are will often retreat to the bushes and stalk the individuals as long as they can, waiting for an opportunity to get a quick and easy kill, sometimes even following them to their homes and walking right up the front steps. If you want to ensure your survival, when attacked by a cougar that obviously has no fear of humans (why that is is irrelevant), killing or injuring it is the best option.
Mountain lions have been known to take note of peoples' daily schedules and wait outside their homes for them to leave in the morning or get home from work. They're not benign, and cougar attacks have been steadily on the rise as their populations have been recovering from massive hunting that brought them near to extinction.
A cat who shows aggressive behavior toward humans must be put down, because it's clear that he's classified humans as suitable prey. He won't always be visible for you to "scare off," nor will he always wait til dawn or dusk to strike. If he knows you will be somewhere at a certain time, and he is hungry, he will wait for you there, hidden, and try to take you by surprise.
Keeping children in groups is not a completely effective deterrent, as children have been known to be snatched out of their parents' company and dragged quickly off into the bush, often saved but suffering severe, disfiguring injuries.
If a mountain lion shows no aggressive interest in you, I say let it go on its merry way. But if it shows that it thinks of you as prey, the animal needs to be destroyed. They're in no danger of extinction, and at that point, it comes down to a matter of survival. Our lives or theirs. Left unchecked, an aggressive cougar will almost certainly attack someone eventually, and in at least one of those attacks, they'll get it right.
When that happens, your philosophy has sacrificed a living, breathing human being, with dreams, aspirations, creativity, friends, and family, for that of a solitary predator whose sole purpose in life is to hunt and reproduce.
Hi Daniel... thanks for visiting and arguing your case. I welcome it. Although I disagree.
You say that the puma and human have equal rights in the first paragraph. Did you mean that? I ask because I do not see equal rights bestowed on pumas in the USA.
They are often indiscriminately shot. They are sport hunted. Their home ranges are frequently invaded by humans. There space is sqeezed by human population growth and activity. They prey is hunted by humans. They are absolutely second, third class citizens.
The puma is no match for the human. We are top predator. We are expanding rapidly. Its population is deceasing unsurprisingly (IUCN Red List).
The puma needs protection from us not the other way around. As I said in the article, the domestic dog kills far more people than the cougar (ten times the number). And the same goes for the car. There are very very few fatal cougar attacks and it is usually unsupervised children.
And most attacks can probably be traced back to human activity one way or another. I am looking at the wider issues.
You say that, "many people have been hurt". Can you tell me how many and how badly hurt and quote the source. I don't like wild assertions that are unsupported. Also we need to discuss the reason why these people were hurt. Were they acting irresponsibly?
As for that video, it stinks of a set up to me. The footage is blank between the cougar racing towards the man and actually on the man. And the cat is tamely nibbling the man's shoulder (in fact there is no bite at all). This is a commercial video and I would bet the cat is semi-domesticated and performing. In which case it is irresponsible as it misrepresents the facts.
Even if it is real the cat is seen off by someone waving a stick! So much for the need to shoot.
If a cougar has no fear of humans it is probably our fault for invading its territory and becoming habituated to us. It should fear us as we are dangerous to it.
Also I think that you should support your argument that cougars stalk people with science. Where is your evidence?
I won't go over every point you make but it needs supporting evidence. You write as if you have been indoctrinated by the general consensus that this cat is really dangerous when the science suggests that we are the dangerous animals and that most of the time there is no need to get the bl**dy rifle out.
I really don't see people acting responsibly. The cat is a reactive animal. It reacts to our activities. If provoked it might become defensive and attack. If its prey is decimated by us and if it is hurt it might be forced to attack. But the underlying reasons can nearly always be traced back to humankind. So why kill the cat? The answer is for us to take better proactive steps to prevent attack. This rarely if ever happens it seems to me.