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Managed Freedoms

Managed Freedoms

"Freedom is only the distance between the hunter and his prey." ~ Zhao Zhenkai

The quote above, of course makes sense to the typical observer; making the inference that perhaps we should never let our guard down, because even though we may not see dangers around us, they do exist -- and our feeling of freedom is perhaps overly trusted in any given moment. Well that is indeed an excellent lesson to take to heart, and I encourage you to embrace it. Sadly the mountain lion of Arizona, and I’m certain other states as well, sometimes find themselves increasingly on the wrong side of this statement, as our designated official stewards of our wildlife continue to “manage” the wild with thoughts often, but quietly, spoken about in regards to money.

We all know that if a cougar comes near town or campers and causes a dangerous nuisance, that cougar would likely be tracked and killed by officials. People open to the ways of nature often struggle with this, but predominately society would find the situation unacceptable and likely would destroy it — which was just doing what comes naturally — on the grounds that it was a menace to all humans. We seem to worry more about unlikely dangers such as mountain lion attacks than we do about the much more likely threats to life, such as car accidents, which kill some 40,000 people every year. I know that others might disagree with me; they accept the risks of driving a car but find the thought of a lion attack totally unacceptable; but I digress.

Ironically enough, the cougar minding its own business, not interfering with our communities or putting a single human at risk, still could take a page from the quote above, as recently 6 were destroyed solely because they cause Arizona Fish And Game to spend too much money, as they attempt to take on new wildlife introduction challenges. Three such lions were destroyed in early 2014, in the Catalina Mountains, only because they simply preyed upon Bighorn Sheep, and the costs to introduce those sheep during restoration projects is deemed more worthy than the cougar’s life. Sadly this is not new behavior and Arizona Fish and Game seems proud of their actions in all public statements.