Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Policemen In Chicago Turn Into Killers…Of Cougars That Is…

Chicago Tribune has given premium coverage of an incident where a cougar which had strayed into the North Hoyne Avenue of the Roscoe Village neighborhood, Chicago was shot dead by the police. A pathetic reason that they feared the big cat might attack led them to pumping lead into the poor animal. If that wasn’t enough, people (some of them are writers for Chicago Tribune) defended the police action saying asking what one would do in a neighborhood where children where present. I quote Barbara Brotman who writes for Chicago Tribune, “I was sorry that a beautiful animal had been killed. But I was grateful, too.”

The cougar belongs to the cat family and is found in most parts of the North and South America. It is very territorial and solitary, avoiding even its own kind except to mate. It usually preys on deer, sheep, goats, and other similarly sized game. With humans’ ever expanding need for land, the easiest alternative is to encroach upon the wildlife habitat. This inevitably brings to fore the danger of human and wildlife confrontations and sadly most of the time it is the humans who emerge victorious.

What happened in Chicago happens every where. No one shows concern to the frightened and confused animal seeking safe shelter. When a cougar strays into the human habitat, it gets confused and frightened by the strange sights and sounds it encounters and looks to escape to a safe shelter. Attacking is least on its mind and it’s probably the last thing too. A little common sense would have saved the cougar’s life today. People could have given it a wide berth and animal control could have tranquilized it.

Chicago Police Capt. Mike Ryan said the cougar tried to attack the officers when they tried to contain it. Police said they could not tranquilize the animal because police officers typically do not carry tranquilizer guns.

Yeah…what would one expect when a big cat like a cougar gets cornered by 10-15 policemen? They could have given a wide berth for the cat and waited for the animal control to arrive and tranquilize it. After all the cougar’s sightings were reported throughout the day. Where was the animal control? They should have been there. With all with the technology these days how long would it take for the animal control to arrive at the site?

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Monday that the state's current wildlife code does not protect cougars because they are not considered a normal part of the ecosystem here. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the Eastern cougar as endangered. But police could not confirm whether the cougar shot Monday was an Eastern cougar.

Does it really make a difference whether it was an Eastern cougar or a Western cougar?

A witness said that the police brought down the cougar in about 10 gunshots.

I weep for the Cougar and I wonder whether I am alone?

Source: WhoZoo, Chicago Tribune.

1 comment:

  1. ya...such a sad story.....its the same situation world over. its not the fault of the animals that are straying into human territory....we humans need to respect and give them space to live....i weep with you bro....but there should be an inward action taken to do something about it...such a loss of precious life!