Living With Wildlife and Our Part in It
"Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way."
I enjoy seeing and interacting with wildlife. I occasionally set out a wildlife camera to see what wanders by on my rural property when I am not looking. Recently, I got a photograph of a mountain lion. This area is increasingly well populated with rural homes, so it was a surprise to see the photo of the big, beautiful cat. Over the years, neighbors occasionally would tell me they had spotted one, but I would think it was probably a bobcat magnified by the mind's eye. Then last year, a genuine cougar was shot about 3/4 mile from here by some governmental agency after the cat had killed a neighbor's goat. The neighbor's dog had treed it and it had a tag in its ear indicating that this was not the first goat it had killed. The big cats get no third chance. I have three pet goats, so I pay attention to information like this.
I was reluctant to spread the word around the neighborhood because some people are quick to kill anything that could possibly be a problem. Traps and attractive scents are easy to come by. Some neighbors have trained dogs and good hunting skills so visiting wildlife does not have much of a chance if they know it is around and want to kill it. I hear stories of people around here who have killed many bobcats. I love having wildlife around and think it is due time to rethink how we coexist with our fellow creatures.
The Decline of Wildlife