Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Dear Indigna,

Today I saw the following headline in my local small-town newspaper: "Hiker Mauled by Mountain Lion Moved to San Francisco."

Why on earth would the authorities deliberately transport such a dangerous wild animal to an urban area and then, apparently, let it go free to roam and "maul" at will?

Keeping Indoors
East Bay, CA

Dear Indoors,

Yahoos like you just make my job so easy. Consider the facts. Mountain lion habitat is rapidly shrinking as the suburbs increasingly sprawl into previously wilderness areas. These majestic animals are tremendously stressed by intensifying competition for territory, skyrocketing nighttime light pollution, and people taking potshots at them because the humans were so stupid as to leave their small, furry mammals outside at night to be hunted--hellooooo?

The mountain lion is a treasured part of California lore and legend, history and habitat, and soon, lunch and lifestyle. You see, San Francisco, like many large cities, has a gigantic, forest-like park, bordering the gentrifying Haight-Ashbury area. The Golden Gate Park has precious few natural predators and has thus, in the last forty years or so, become overrun with non-native mammals that are, according to a news report I heard on NPR just this morning, destroying the formerly endangered native commercial district that has only recently begun to recover.

What a perfect solution to both problems! This very cost-effective program will simultaneously help the mountain lions by providing them with a suitable hunting ground well-stocked with prey, most of it easily caught while "sleeping it off," and at the same time help curtail the homeless problem in Golden Gate Park! If this pilot program is successful, expect to see it rolled out to urban areas across the country. Now if that isn't synergy I don't know what is!


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