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“Yet the big cat— whom wildlife experts call “the Rolls Royce of North American predators”— also had a noisy chorus of defenders. “The slaughtered cougar,” wrote one angry reader about the Times‘s coverage of the Fike attack, “had more sanctity, honesty, and beauty than any of these blood-lusting humans.” The previous spring, after 40-year-old Barbara Schoener was killed and partially devoured by a female mountain lion while hiking in a Sierra recreation area, there was an extraordinary outpouring of empathy for the animal (subsequently killed by trackers.) Sympathizers reportedly donated twice as much to a fund for the lion’s orphan cubs than to the fund for Schoener’s two small children.”

Mike Davis, Ecology of FearAdd a Tooltip Text


Musical chairs is cruelty. Tears. Pee in the pants and anxious rage.

Later in life, the young lady rushes into a movie theater, only to find that the last available seats are in the very front row. (No mountain lions sitting there.) The other moviegoers stare over her head at the celebrity trivia question.  Eating popcorn. They got theirs.

Move into a place where someone or something else is already living? Expect an attack. Children’s books understand this. When Woodpecker moves into an empty hole in Owl’s tree, dark times befall the forest.

Young graphic designer goes mountain biking in the Malibu hills. Healthy female lion leaps out from nowhere, starts running beside him. He tries to outride her. Nope. He jumps off his bike and throws it at her. She doesn’t flinch. He runs down into the brush on the side of the trail. She’s right behind him. He drops down and rolls into a ball. Okay, he’s out of options. But is this the right move? The lion bites the back of his head. Bites. The back of his head.

Don’t worry he was fine. He really was.