Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cougar Blogging

Hat tip to ZendoDeb at .357 Magnum.

I may be at risk for being considered a predator blogger because of the times I've discussed coyotes and bears in the Boston area. Well here is a story out of Canada that really struck me.

A child, a four-year old girl, was walking with her mother near a village on Vancouver Island. They were on a trail in a forest. Reports are that 400 cougars live on the island and there have been increasing number of attacks on humans.

A young cougar attacked the child and her mother beat the cat off with a cooler. Authorities think the girl and her mother weren't being stalked. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The girl went to the hospital with scalp wounds.

The article ended with an amazing statement, "Wildlife experts say people who are attacked by cougars should fight back rather than attempt to flee."

That's what struck me. How do humans fight back? We have inadequate teeth and nails. We're not as strong as most large mammals. We can't even run as fast as them if we do attempt to flee. We humans have one thing that the animals don't. We're smarter than them. We make weapons that enable us to fight predators. Our weapons caused predators to respect us, perhaps to fear us.

And, so what do we do? We use our superior brain power to disarm ourselves while still going among the animals. Even if we stay in our cities, we find animals like coyotes visiting us on what seems to be our turf.

The ridiculous thought that humans should be disarmed led to a panicked mother beating a cougar with a cooler. It led to a child suffering scalp wounds. She will have nightmares that I'm glad I will never share.

What is wrong with going armed in a world that contains hostile animals and predatory humans? Why should we give up the one thing that allowed humans to raise above the animals and create a civilization. Something that perhaps prevented our extinction as prey.

The thought that we should go into the world armed only with coolers, tree branches, etc. is silly. Especially when we've invented the most effective self-defense tools ever--guns. It is a ridiculous idea and I refuse to go unarmed into a hostile world.

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