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Old 03-25-07, 04:14 PM   #1
Bikepacker67
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Cougars encroach on Colorado's urban areas

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DENVER (KWGN) As mountain lions move closer to urban areas, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is proposing a pilot project to teach the cougars a lesson about humans and habitat: the DOW recommends using hazing techniques to lower the animals comfort level around people.

If approved, the Front Range Cougar Pilot Project would be implemented in two phases in Boulder and Jefferson Counties.

First, wildlife officials would trap six cougars in the corridor between Lyons and Interstate 70. Those cougars would be collared with GPS tracking devices. The movement of the mountain lion would be recorded eight times a day.

The second phase of the project calls for hazing the big cats by shooting them with rubber buckshot and trailing the cats with packs of dogs. Division of Wildlife spokesperson Tyler Baskfield says the program could be successful. "Hazing makes the animal associate people as a bad thing," said Baskfield.

However the pilot program could face opposition from the general public.

Boulder resident Bonnie Holliday said it seems a bit cruel. "I grew up in Colorado Springs where people started encroaching on mountain lion habitat," explained Holliday. "For me, I would hope that there may be a more humane solution."

So far, Jefferson County has approved the project. Boulder County Parks and Open Space is considering the plan.
Who's encroaching on whom?
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Old 03-25-07, 06:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KWGN
However the pilot program could face opposition from the general public.

Boulder resident Bonnie Holliday said it seems a bit cruel. "I grew up in Colorado Springs where people started encroaching on mountain lion habitat," explained Holliday. "For me, I would hope that there may be a more humane solution."
I don't think that Scott Lancaster would agree with Ms. Holliday.

See also attacks #11,12 and 13 on cyclists in California.
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Old 03-25-07, 06:48 PM   #3
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FWIW, in college I had a bumper sticker that read.........

'SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO ARM BEARS'

I don't in any way mean to trivialize attacks, but it is we who are often encroaching on wildlife.

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Old 03-25-07, 08:49 PM   #4
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....................................snip.................. but it is we who are often encroaching on wildlife.
It's not that simple. All animals, humans included, migrate to enhance their survival. None of us have title to a certain territory forever and ever. There have always been conflicts over territory, food, water and who gets eaten. At the present time, Cougars are increasing in numbers and moving into areas where they have been absent, or not as common, for a hundred years (note that there were no known attacks in California between 1910 and 1985). At the same time, they are losing their fear of humans as a result of decreased hunting pressure. Their historical prey species, including domestic livestock is not as plentiful as it has been in the past. They make up for the shortage by eating pets, pet food, garbage, roadkill and the occasional unlucky human. Cougars are apex predators. Peaceful co-existence with other animals is not in their game plan.
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