Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Study in Contrasts

Ex-Marine kills bear with log, gets ticketed
The bear had snatched the family's cooler from their campsite in a national forest in northern Georgia.... Everhart says the bear started charging [his six year-old son after the son threw a shovel at the bear], so he grabbed the first thing he could find, which happened to be a log from the family's firewood.... The close call earned Everhart bragging rights — and a ticket. Park authorities say he didn't properly secure his campsite.

Florida man gets upper hand against bobcat
Authorities praised Rippy for clear thinking under pressure. “We give this guy a lot of credit for what he did,” said Pasco County Animal Control Manager Denise Hilton.

And an oldie but a goodie (so revolting that I remember three years later and insisted I find the original story to post):

Upset residents mourn cougar shot by officer

The police agency has been flooded with outraged calls and e-mails from people enflamed by TV news videotape of the lion lolling peacefully in a tree just before an officer shot it with a high-powered rifle about 1 p.m. Monday. But police officials stressed that they reluctantly made the call to kill the 3-year-old male cougar after state, county and local wildlife specialists cautioned that a tranquilizer dart might take 30 minutes to subdue the cat -- and could just rile it.


"We couldn't take the chance of shooting the animal with a tranquilizer gun and then having it run for another 30 minutes. ... While we were concerned about the animal, the human safety did take precedence.''

Under the camphor tree where the lion was shot, a small shrine of cards and flowers appeared Tuesday. One tribute bore color photographs of a mother lion snuggling its cub and the words, "Majestic Creature, Rest In Peace.'' Another read: "A mountain lion lost and killed among a species which feared him."

Animal rights advocates said police could have given the lion "a chance'' by attempting to drug it in the tree and then shooting it if the cougar turned aggressive.


But state Department of Fish and Game officials, who authorized the lion's killing, said since the puma was loose in a residential neighborhood, "the evidence showed that there was an imminent threat of injury'' if the animal wasn't killed.


Morgan Hill police Lt. Joe Sampson said his agency learned how tricky tranquilizing a mountain lion can be in March, when 3- year-old cougar cubs turned up in a homeowner's yard. An animal control officer fired six darts at one cub, but only two hit. .... After tracking a second cub yard-to-yard for hours, police had to shoot and kill it when the lion tried to tear through a family's screen door. The third cub was successfully tranquilized and released in the wild.

John Furrier, whose black Labrador, Kelsey, chased the lion up into the tree and away from his home -- where his toddler son and daughter had been playing -- said he thinks critics are ignoring the fact that human lives were at risk.

We've had an increase in bear sightings in my neck of the woods. Nothing makes you hunt down the kids and the cats faster than a phone call from the neighbor warning you they just saw a bear in their backyard. How hard is it to be on the side of people instead of animals? That is the fundamental choice. Animals are non-reasoning. You can't talk a bear out of killing you. You can't convince a mountain lion that you're not food. Since animals cannot change their behavior, these people insist humans change theirs to accommodate the animals. Insisting on life for animals means devaluing the life of humans. People who think we should just be able to 'live in peace' with dangerous wildlife roaming around are all for peace and freedom for the animals and cages for humans because that's the only defense those types of people would allow us.

No comments: