March 3, 2005


Trackers Kill Tiger in Ventura County (Amanda Covarrubias, February 24, 2005, LA Times)

Sharpshooters searching for a 425-pound tiger that had prowled the hills of Simi Valley for two weeks shot and killed it Wednesday after a family awoke to find it walking past their backyard.

The decision by government trackers to use high-powered rifles instead of tranquilizer darts to bring down the elusive cat outraged animal rights activists. But state officials said they had no alternative but to shoot to kill, because the animal could have attacked or bolted onto a highway or into a public park nearby.

As a Princeton grad, I am as big a fan of the noble tiger as anyone, but I don't get these animal rights people. It's like they assume that the Game and Wildlife folks wanted to kill the animal, rather than accepting that they are professionals (who probably got into the line of work because they truly love nature) who had to make a risk assessment that puts the safety of people first.

Posted by Glenn Dryfoos at March 3, 2005 8:03 AM

Around here, we get the same nonsense with deer. They die by the hundreds on the roads, of course, but when one wanders into a city neighborhood and the animal control folks shoot it and give the meat to the local homeless shelter, the local news leads with some dippy PETA type complaining about the wanton murder, and why couldn't they have tranquilized it, and what about children seeing violence, and how am I ever going to get the bloodstains out my sidewalk? TV news producers don't hunt (or drive) much, I guess.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at March 3, 2005 1:09 PM

Another issue is where to put the beasts? Here in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, there have been many cougar sightings. In Sioux City, Iowa there was a cougar sitting in a tree and eventually Animal Control shot it. There was quite a hullabaloo from the PETA crowd; however, the Animal Control people and others said there is nowhere to put these animals because the Omaha Zoo has too many (cougars live a long time in captivity) and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas refuse to take cougars. Also, there are more cougars because there are more deer.

Posted by: pchuck at March 3, 2005 2:50 PM

Deer? Oh you mean the big rats with the long legs?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 3, 2005 3:03 PM

They taste better than rats.

Posted by: pchuck at March 3, 2005 3:12 PM

I've often wondered why the deer couldn't be corralled somewhere and kept for the venison.

Posted by: Bart at March 3, 2005 5:12 PM

Hmmm.... Bambi chili.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 3, 2005 11:03 PM

I knew this was a rerun.:

P.A. police defend mountain lion killing, By Julie Patel Wed, May. 19, 2004, San Jose Mercury News

Palo Alto police Tuesday stood by their decision to kill a mountain lion as it reclined in a neighborhood tree, even as more than 50 phone calls and 150 e-mails poured in condemning Monday's shooting. But police said they would meet with state wildlife officials this week to discuss what to do if another lion wanders from the wilds and into a neighborhood.

Experts who examined the animal Tuesday found it was a hungry, healthy 99-pound adolescent, and speculated that it may have wandered into town while looking for a new place to hunt for food. The 3-year-old mountain lion had an empty stomach but food in its bowels. A spokesman from the state Fish and Game Department said similar sightings grow more likely as homes go up in the hills.

Palo Alto police did exactly the right thing in shooting the animal, even though it wasn't attacking at the time, said the University of California-Davis' Lee Fitzhugh, who has studied the animals and their interaction with humans for about 20 years. "Lions are attracted to children as prey," he said. "I guess because they're about the right size. It's very dangerous to have them around in that situation." He also said a tranquilizer would not have sedated the mountain lion right away, and it could have jumped out of the tree and escaped -- too big a risk with three elementary schools nearby.

Mike Douglas playing Gordon Gekko in Wall Street says: WASPs love animals, hate people.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 4, 2005 2:09 AM

If we could save just one mountain lion, it would all be worth it.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at March 4, 2005 9:00 AM

Pchuk: just cause you like to eat them doesn't mean they aren't rats.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 4, 2005 12:14 PM

Even if they are rats, it doesn't mean you can't eat them. Go to Cajun Country and try some nutria in a gumbo or an etouffe'. But then space aliens will never land in Acadie because they are afraid of ending up on the dinner table.

Posted by: Bart at March 5, 2005 10:04 AM