Monday, September 8, 2014

More Death Penalty, This Time For A Cougar

News erupted through the media yesterday of the unprovoked attack on a six year-old boy hiking with family members by a mountain lion near the wilderness village of Cupertino, CA, also the home of Apple, Inc., a company that makes popular electronic devices, not a grower of fruit, as this article explains. Fortunately the toddler was saved by his quick-thinking father and has since been released from the hospital after treatment for bites.

Once again, an animal is being judged in human terms and will be, as they say, "euthanized" for showing the temerity to consider a small human as food. When and if a cougar is found and killed its DNA will be matched to samples found on the victim to determine if, indeed, this particular individual is the bad guy. If not, no doubt the search will continue. What the status of a dead but innocent cat will be isn't mentioned.

There's something of a Darwinian selection process being invoked here. If proven aggressive and dangerous animals of a given species are killed and not allowed to reproduce, over time the remainder will be more and more friendly toward man, the peaceable kingdom will have arrived. On the other hand, it might be assumed that all large carnivores are a danger to humans and when they prove this on an individual basis must be done away with. Both thoughts have a certain validity.

In any event, people prefer their animals on the Discovery Channel, not in their backyard.

A cougar. This isn't the cougar that attacked the little boy. Nobody got a photo of that one. This is a picture of some other cougar but it's probably just as dangerous as the one stalking hikers near the Apple, Inc. headquarters. Hopefully, it's been dispatched as well, sent to a taxidermist, and its preserved form displayed at some popular sporting goods store.

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