It seems extraordinary to me and very insensitive to wildlife conservation and downright unfair that when a mountain lion exhibits behaviour which indicates that it is not fearful of humans (desensitised to the presence of people) the default reaction of the authorities is to shoot the cat dead because they don’t see it as viable to relocate the animal. Or they can’t be bothered to relocate the cat. Perhaps that is the real reason.
“Humans cause the mountain lion to become desensitized to them so to solve the problem by shooting the cat shows that humans have become desensitized to the moral issues…” – Michael
This is the exact scenario, as reported on the website Victoria Buzz, which unfolded in Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is reported that the BC Conservation Officer Service ‘destroyed’ a cougar that had been eating domestic cats and was also seen in an area where there were school children waiting for a school bus.
“The cougar was exhibiting very desensitized behavior and was moving around openly during the day and night. The COS notes that destroying wildlife is the least favorite part of any officers job but that the behavior exhibited by the cougar did not warrant relocation efforts.”
The cougar was hunting in an area where there are people’s residences. At one stage on 6th November at 07:25 the cat stopped 200 meters from a mobile park residence.
I’d have thought that the authorities would use their best efforts to relocate mountain lions such as this one by first tranquillising them. The unfairness for me is that the cat was there before the people and so the cat has suffered an invasion by an alien creature: humans. Human settlements eat into the cougar’s territory which leads to the cats becoming desensitized to people resulting in the cat presenting a danger to residents. The cat is entirely innocent of wrongdoing and yet it suffers the most onerous of all punishments, the loss of its life.
I am not asking for people to bestow upon cats rights which are equal to those of people as it will never happen, but I am asking for people to demonstrate an increased sensitivity towards this sort of human-wildcat conflict because it is caused by humans. Let’s not forget that obvious point.