Letter at Length

Over the years, I've read a lot of stupid statements by supposedly educated people, specialists in their field. However, this quote in the Tuesday, Sept 14 article, "Cougar kills lamb ..." from state wildlife biologist Rosemary Stussy is about as bad as it gets: "There are good cougars and bad cougars — and the good ones behave appropriately and don't come kill your animals."

There are no such things as good or bad cougars, only hungry cougars. Cougars have no natural enemies, other than humans, that threaten them. They are wild predators who are at the top of their food chain.

While there is very occasionally a diseased cougar that is not able to function normally, a condition which is popular to use as an excuse for cougar transgressions by cougar proliferation proponents, it is natural for them to take what they want, when they want it. Like all predators, including humans, they will look to take the easiest way to survival (lunch/dinner, etc.) rather than do it the hard way. Cougar logic is simple, not complicated.

Stussey is anthropomorphizing, something she ought to know better than to do, or perhaps trying to use flawed logic to justify the cougar's actions. The cougar's behavior in taking the lamb does not need justifying. The cougar was acting well within the natural parameters of its instincts and comprehension of the world it lives in.

The periodic loss of a farm animal, pet and eventually a child are inevitable with the protection levels cougars presently receive. Further proof of the effects of an overburden of cougars is the infestation of deer in our towns and cities.

Open space-friendly cities like Ashland and Medford with their lawns, trees and gardens are wonderful places for a deer population to hide from being cougar dinner. The time line of the "deer invasion" exactly coincides with the period since the outlawing of the only effective way to hunt cougars.

My question is this: If the cougar population was truly endangered, why has it taken only a few cougar generations since the cessation of hunting for them to become an obvious statewide menace? Perhaps we were misled by those who had motives other than mere protection of an important species sufficient to insure their survival.

Thomas Garson


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