Friday, May 15, 2009

Mountain Lion Sighting.

(This isn’t the mountain Lyon. It’s one of our cats Miko.)

We live in a little nook of woods with a some ponds up behind us and two little creeks. Being that this is Missouri, (Biosphere on steroids) there are lots of living creatures in the neighborhood. Lots of deer, foxes, woodchucks, possums, raccoons, wild turkeys, turkey vultures, hawks, barn owls, … I could go on, but you get the picture. Most of these creatures have visited our yard and provide frequent sighting opportunities. We are not, in the country. We are in a huge metropolitan area. In five minutes I am in downtown Independence, and in fifteen minutes I am in the heart of downtown Kansas City. Several blocks away is a very busy high way and the noise of the city intermingles with the noise of the wild life. This is why it is extraordinary when a creature like a mountain lion is sighted. Two nights ago my wife mentioned that our neighbor on the east reported that several people around have seen a mountain lion. Yesterday evening at my daughter’s T-ball practice, my neighbor to my north, a cop that works the night shift, reported seeing it cross our street and head up the ponds. A word of caution. Mountain Lions are extremely rare in Missouri. The dept. of fish and wildlife acknowledges they do exist here but remains skeptical about reports of sightings. The afore mentioned neighbors are people who could very well be on the up and up, but could also be mistaken. Here is what I know for sure. My wife has seen a bob cat up the street. She also saw a bobcat litter within ten minutes of here. And her account is, for me, impeccably reliable. She knows her cats. But this blog isn’t really about whether or not there is a mountain lion in the neighborhood, it is about the comments by both neighbors that if they could they would shoot it. To my knowledge there are no reports of small children or foo foo pets going missing. If a creature is so stealth as to survive a stones throw away from the Truman Historical Library, where Bill Clinton gave a front step speech just last week, I can’t imaging it is causing trouble. But this is an aside as well. Even if it was causing trouble why is the immediate first thought to kill it. We can tranquilize and relocate. We have people that do that sort of thing. To think of killing such a creature is a thought that rises to the level of: “She’s a which! Burn her!” Wow. Really? To be honest with you, on my scale of right to exist-ness, a semi-urban mountain lion ranks higher than a…. never mind, I’m not going to go there. I’ll go here instead. God. Bless the creatures great and small in my neighborhood.

1 comment:

John Hayes said...

I'm definitely with you 100% on the re-location thing, but mountain lions are pretty serious critters-- they live out here & would be the bottom of my list of animals I'd want to meet while strolling a country road. I did see one cross Idaho State Highway 55 while I was driving down the grade from McCall once-- think it was about this time of year, too, now that I think of it. They are amazing creatures to see (but I was glad to be in a car).