If that's the case, it sounds to me like we need to hunt them even more...
No evidence proves sport hunting reduces fatal encounters between people and mountain lions, says a study out today that adds fuel to a debate over the trophy killings of big-game animals.
The study comes as mountain lion attacks on humans, while still rare, are increasing, and reported sightings more common, especially where suburbs and second homes have spread into lion habitat.
The study by the Sacramento-based Mountain Lion Foundation compared lion-people incidents in 10 states that permit hunting with data from California, which banned cougar hunting in 1972. Nine states — Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico — had higher attack rates than California. Wyoming's was lower.
"Any state that claims sport hunting is anything more than recreation will have to prove it, because evidence just isn't there," foundation President Lynn Sadler says. At least two states, Oregon and South Dakota, used an argument that hunting reduces attacks to win approval for hunts, she says. The foundation opposes sport hunting of lions.
South Dakota, which had its first hunt last year and wasn't included in the study, allowed only 25 lions or five breeding-age females to be killed.
Read it all here. I'd be curious to know what the survey showed about livestock and pet attacks in addtion to human attacks.
Fine, for those of you who don't want them hunted, please go out in the woods and find one. Then give it a big hug. You'll feel better about yourself, and strengthen my argument at the same time when it rips you limb from limb and gnaws on you. It's a predator for gosh's sake. It's in competition with us, as well as viewing us as food.
Until they're numbers are supressed sufficiently to cause them to remain in remote areas of the hills, I say it's time to break out the guns.