Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cougar Kills Horse In Lower Michigan

In Jackson County Michigan, just west of Ann Arbor, a mountain lion has allegedly killed a horse. The article describes the wounds as follows:

"There were two punctures in its neck like a vampire bite and gashes that looked like knife wounds."

The DNR has always maintained that cougars have been extinct in Michigan since the early 20th century, but as the article mentions, there are theories that the population of cougars was reduced almost to extinction but not all the way. Until recently, the DNR has dismissed the frequent citings of cougars in Northern Michigan, or claimed that they were escaped pets. I wonder if this killing will force the department to change its thinking. After all, this is to some extent a matter of public safety, because, unlike, say, black bears, cougars do prey on people in certain circumstances. It's an interesting question. And, as a hiker, a somewhat scary one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been no reported attacks of any kind until this horse was killed, as far as I know. I grew up in NW IN and in the 1970's, as a child, I know I saw a cougar, even said "here kitty kitty" to it. I see no reason for a kill season and would rather see respect for it's ability to exist quietly in an area that is made unsafe by man. They have been here for 30 years and now because of "proof" it's all of a sudden unsafe for society. Be careful Cougars as you walk across the path of man.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Tim Harden said...

I actually wasn't advocating a "kill season." My point was that it would be dangerous to public safety if the DNR insisted on denying the existence of cougars, if they were present in the Lower Peninsula. People aren't going to watch out and/or learn how to deal with a confrontation with animals if they don't know the animals exist in that area. I will say, though, that if their numbers were to increase to an unsafe level a regulated hunting season might be necessary to limit their population growth. I don't think that is a very likely problem, though.

10:25 AM  

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