Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cougar's Den

Yesterday Chicago police shot a cornered cougar on the North Side.


In case you are one of those people who thinks the whole environmental crisis is a lot of hooey, please note that in Chicago, pop. 3 million we have had to capture 2 coyotes and shoot a cougar in the center of the city in the last 2 years.


Here are some cougar facts I took from the Chicago Tribune:


Habitat: Rocky canyons, tropical rain forests, prairies, deserts, forests (translation: anywhere)

Range: North and South America (That's 2 attached continents between the North and South Pole. See previous parenthetical.)

Length: 7-9 feet (bigger than people...)
Weight: 80-230 pounds (...but maybe not as fat, and more agile.)
Life span: 15-20 years
Diet: Deer, elk and small mammals (Translation: anything it can kill.)


If I sound a little PTSD about the whole cougar thing, it is because one used to hang out -- literally-- in the tree behind the house when I lived in the backcountry. It would growl and I would grab the gun that came with the house, but the truth is I couldn't really see it because it was dark and I'm pretty sure you don't want to shoot at a cougar and miss, so I never shot at it.

According to local legend, the Department of Natural Resources actually released a few cougars in the Midwest to help control the coyote population -- but of course the DNR would never admit to such a thing -- so I keep reading about how noe to a few cougars have been spotted in Illinois since it was incorporated, but I've seen cougars and tracks...

There are also some people who are up in arms because the cops killed the cougar in Roscoe Village. Those people have never encountered a pissed-off, cornered big cat. It isn't like the cops were out hunting, they were saving exposed yuppie butt. I say, good job.


8 comments:

Jane said...

You bet. If it had munched on a baby or two the view might be different. Look at this link & click on the strip titled "Chicago Cougar came from the wild". About 1/2 way through you can see the cat walking just behind a cop. It sorta had the run of the Village. From the Johnnie B. show...in the village, Roscoe Village, the cougar stalks tonight...

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/

Pavel Chekov said...

When the cops start shooting cougars, the terrorists win.

Pelmo said...

They shoot a poor defenseless pussy cat, but leave those beavers alone to reek havock on my estate.

Diane Green said...

These cats are leaving the preserves because people are burning them to make more grass grow or something moronic like that...This has happened before. and I did a painting about it, but in the painting I was guided by the animal spirit so gave the cat a way to come back...In a place called Panther Burn Mississippi. “Around the turn of the last century—1900 or so—they started clearing more land for the cultivation of cotton and other crops around the Mississippi River. These big piles of trees and bush were left there to be burned later. And the animals that were living in these areas—foxes, bears, rabbits—had no place to go.

“There was this wild cat, a panther, who was very cunning and howled all night. Faced with the destruction of his own habitat, the panther started to raid the farmers’ chicken coops. The animal became a general nuisance. They tried to hunt the panther down, but he eluded their traps.

“One night the farmers ran the animal into a canebrake, a stand of wild cane bamboo growing there, and they set the canebrake on fire. The shrieks of the panther were so intense that it was unforgettable. The location became known from then on as The Panther Burn. In essence, it was a symbol for the downfall of the last vestige of frontier America and the onset of European civilization in the South. And this is were we derived the lore of the Panther Burn.”

There should be a funeral for the Cat. All my Indian friends agree. Are you intersted?

Now I have the painting on eBay not sure how to send tags on this blogger site...send email muse@callmecrazy.org

changapeluda said...

around here they take trail hikers Down and quite viciously....one chick that survived said she got dragged by her head.

when is someone from the humane society gonna invent fast acting tranquilizer gunz???

La Sirena said...

Jane -- The video is a bit eerie.

Pavel -- The damned terrorists just keep winning!

Pelmo -- Watching the pics and vide, I'll bet you're glad you don't have THAT guy's job anymore.

Diane -- Thanks for stopping by. Did you know there is a band named Panther Burn from Memphis? I found them when I was using google to find your paintings. I really enjoyed your paintings. Everyone should go look at them on Diane's Website.

Changadesnuda -- Hiking with tranqulizer guns? Awesome!

Carlos said...

Poor kitty. They found a mountain lion here in town at the old Brooks AF Base last week. It was fortunate enough to have escaped death though.

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