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They finally got him......

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It is sad when mother nature and civilization meet. We have had this happen twice around here in the last 3 years. We had a pair of cougars one year and a female and 2 cubs last year. They had decided that the horses around here looked like a McDonald's drive up window. Fortunately the horses lived and the DNR trapped the cougars and took them up north. What we really had problems with was the wolves that moved in two years ago. We lost 3 dogs to them, the neighbors lost many more plus calves until the DNR finally trapped them and removed them much to the dismay of the wolf lovers. It is sad to see but it is also sad to see them attack your 15 year old dog right under your own yard light.

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Phyl

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What really burns me was the officer on the news stating that the cat wouldn't move. They tried to shoo it away and it wouldn't move. His quote was "wild animals don't act like that". "They should run away". That's why they shot it.

Coming from Colorado, I've had the pleasure of coming across two wild cougars. They both did the exact same thing. They stood their ground. They didn't flinch. Rule of thumb is to not turn your back and run. Just walk slowly backwards and they will leave you alone.

I know that they probably needed to do something but I wish that the called in someone who had a bit of knowledge and maybe it wouldn't have ended that way.

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By doing a quick search on google, I was able to come up with the email address for the Bloomington Police Department. If you would like the address shoot me an email and I'll be sure to respond. I think that as taxpayer's we should let them know our feeling on how they handled the situation.

Capt'nJosh
[email protected]

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I'm all for letting wild animals be wild. And, yes, under ideal circumstances, the animal could have been relocated. But, the Bloomington police did the right thing. What would you all be saying right now if the story would have played out that the Bloomington police stood around the animal waiting for Dr. Doolittle from the Minnesota zoo to show up and psychologically profile the animal. Unfortunately, the animal evaided the police, ran down a residential street, and mauled a 3 year old kid. I bet you'd be wondering why they didn't off the animal when they had the chance.

Don't bug the Bloomington police with trivial crud like this. They have a tough enough job trying to deal with humans that act like animals.

And, honestly, tell me. If a cougar had one of your kids cornered, would you shoot it?

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I agree completely with Bornofice. His description of what could have happened is right on the money.

While I don't disagree that a big cat's reaction to confrontation may sometimes be to crouch and not move, that doesn't mean the police were wrong to dispatch the animal.

As much as I love to see an animal as beautiful as a mountain lion, these cats don't belong in the metro area. Small children are frequently attacked by cougars in city parks and even in their own back yards in western states. Of course, there have been many cases of people being attacked in the wild. They are much more dangerous than the black bears that most Minnesotans put on their list of "Close Wildlife Encounters".

They are lightning quick, extremely powerful for their weight and one of nature's most efficient hunters. Their vertical leap is higher than your head and they can jump over 20 feet in one bound. They are a force to be reckoned with. Do you want one in your neighborhood?

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Up North we have been chuckling for years at the city folk who are constantly telling us to "live in harmony with the wolf" and not blame them for killing pets and such. We used to joke about loading up a few in a cage and transporting them to the suburbs that are having deer problems.
First time a wild beast shows up in their little urban utopia, out comes the artillery.
I'm certainly not blaming the Bloomington cops, they quite possibly did the safe and sane thing. I can guarantee you, that if that had been a wolf or a cougar trotting through Ely or Babbit munching beagles, there would be criminal charges if the thing were dispatched.
Funny how geography works.

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I agree with Borno. It is a sad story, but big cats just aren't meant to live the brutal "big city lifestyle." Heck, it's hard enough on humans. I feel the police did what had to be done in this case since the cat seemed intent on defending it's territory like any healthy cat should. It just picked the wrong area and yes I agree it is very sad and very wrong to admit there is just no room for these beautiful creatures here. I would have hated to see nature take it's course and have the cat eat me up while I'm jogging in the morning. Then there would be a hunt down here in the cities for the "man-eating cat." I also would have hated to see the beautiful animal hit by a Metro Bus on 35W in the morning and then run over by thousands of cars for a week when the clean up crew finally comes to dispose of any remains.

-Hawks

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I fish in the MN River bottoms quite often and am actually sorry to hear that they shot the poor kitty.I have been hearing of this cat for a couple years now and it has not kept from from fishing the banks at night.There are much more dangerous animals in those river bottoms than a cat.I would watch out for other humans before I get concerned with the wildlife.At any rate I would not hassle the Bloomington Police for what they did,they made a judgment call.No sense getting in a huff over the thing.
I find Pete's point very interesting though.

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Pete I was thinking the same thing.
A lot of the time wild critter's are shot to pertect the crowd of onlooker's. People think its a zoo animal and surround it. If the beast tried getting away it would have to go through someone.

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Bornofice, I agree!

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...Hail The Flashlight King....

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These cats must be getting more common in MN as a friends wife had a cougar in their backyard on monday here outside of duluth. I called the DNR office in Cloquet and they confirmed that there have been numerous sightings of cougar's in the last year in this area. As a former colorado'n I too have seen wild cats, in the area south of Denver where parker/castle rock are now (I worked there mid-80's) in some of the buttes . I also had the displeasure of seeing what a cougar will do to a domestic dog at a home next to our jobsite there, not a pretty picture.
Xplorer

[This message has been edited by Xplorer (edited 06-05-2002).]

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Pete,

Thanks for pointing that out. You make a very valid point. There does seem to be a double standard with regards to the metro's view of northern MN. And, it doesn't really seem to stop at wildlife.

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Moir Park was almost right out my front door growing up in "Prestegious West Bloomington." My parents sold the house just last summer. I have been in that park and the surrounding trail thousands of times from the age of 6 to 31. The MN river bottoms may have been OK, but once it started down 9 mile the cat had to go. Bloomington is far to heavily populated for such a wild critter with big claws to be around. Moir park was one of my playgrounds as kid and youth during the summer and I am sure it continues to be that way for thousands of adults, youth, and children ever summer. It may be sad, but a tragedy would have been far worse.

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Ok here's something to ponder. Would you rather your kid be alone in the yard "Up North" when a Big Cat strike's, or in a group of kids in the "Burb's" (safety in number's)?

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Well the last time I knew we as humans( most of the time!) are at the top of the chain. So inessence we are responsible for the enviroment, conservation and wild animals. At times it is neccesary to make the decisions that in fact put us at the top of the chain.

And I would prefer no ones child ever be attacked by a wild animal, regardless if its up north or in the cities! If the choice has to be made then the animal will certainly be put down in the most respectful way possible at the time.

------------------
...Hail The Flashlight King....

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Uh, oh........I can see this thread ending up on the Outdoor Political Power forum real soon.

Yes, technically, we are living in their back yard.....we are also living in the former backyards of grizzly bears, elk, woodland caribou, etc. There is a not so fine line with all of this. There is currently no rush to reintroduce grizzly bears in the Minnesota River valley. If someone buys property in the Rocky Mountain foothills, builds a house and then wants to eradicate the mountain lions that "invade" their property.....well, I've got a big problem with that. They chose to live there.

As our population continues to expand, we will be faced with more and more of these issues. Livestock people have been dealing with this conflict ever since this continent was settled. The native people were dealing with it for thousands of years prior to that.

Where I frequently hunt in South Dakota, the mountain lion population has exploded in recent years and, as the habitats reach cat carrying capacity, young cats hit the road in search of new territories. I personally don't mind that they are around when I'm hunting out there. There is an added thrill to being outside when you realize that you aren't necessarily at the top of the food chain anymore. Having the cats around makes the "wild" places even more wild. I hold wild places as some of the most sacred things in my heart.

That having been said, I don't think it is unreasonable for law enforcement to make the decision that a big cat just doesn't belong in the suburbs.

Within the confines of backyards and city parks, the children of the Metro Area suburbs should be able to comfortably remain at the top of the food chain.

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NINETOE I'm sure the animal was put down in good judgement. The increasing number of Cat's and with the protection it is given we will see it become fearless of human's as has the wolf. At one time if you saw a wolf it would have been running for it's life. Now when encounterd it stare's you and down and sizes up your dog for an easy meal.
These are the laws we have been forced to live with which condition's preditor's to become fearless of Human's.

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One thing of note that has been neglected in this thread is that the majority of Cougars spotted in MN are not wild, but are released from captivity by stupid people that first aquired them as "pets" and then got rid of them when they discovered how much time, money, and effort it takes to care for one. They're not so cute when they get to be more than 50lbs.

That said, the cat in Bloomington had a full set of claws and was suspected to be a real life wild one. Too bad things had to go the route they did, but I wouldn't hesitate to shoot him myself if I thought he was a danger to my kids (or anybody else's for that matter).

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I guess I wonder why they didnt use some sort of tranquilizer.

I understand they didnt have alot of time to react - and that what they did was a valid decision, but I wonder if there was an alternative to destroying it.

I doubt the police just showed up there and found it Unexpectidely. They were warned of the situation, why not bring some heavy tranquilizers and bring it back up north to ELY. :-) (or to our friends in CANADA)

Just wondering!

DJfish

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Well why is is that law enforcement and your averge tree hugger all tell the general public to leave wildlife alone. but when someone spots a cougar, a moose a wolf, or even something relatively harmless as a black bear in the burbs or "away" from northern MN they all go ballistic and chastise the poor animal even unto death? Wish they would follow their own advice. So has the DNR formally recognized that we do have Cougars in MN and have had them for years or are they still trying to slip in under the radar .. Man I can't wait till wolves are frequenting the Minnesota rver valley. ....oops anyone want in on a little secret....they already are.

Michael

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Groing up in Loveland CO [ well I'm still growing up...only 14 ] we used to go on hikes in the rockies, and we ran into these cats a few times, they acted the same way!!! All you need to do is back off slowly facing the cat until your far enough away. I personally think that officer should get a hefty fine for shooting an endangered animal!!! And to top it off i bet he was a BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL DEMOCRAT!!!!!!!

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Bornofice was RIGHT ON!! It's easy for one to sit back and play Monday morning quarterback, but when you're there and having to make a split second decision, it's the cat, or maybe a human. I for one like humans.

"The Squirrel" said we are living in their backyard. This may be true, but we were also put on this earth for a reason. We were given special features that separate us from wild animals. With that comes responsibility to co-exist. If I read into what the squirrel is saying, then we're just supposed to sit around and let the cougars, grizzlies, etc... walk around through the neighborhood, randomly attack people, and since it was theirs long ago, it's OK?? That doesn't make much sense to me. Shooting this cougar, which was probably once a pet, is not going to harm the natural world. LIFE IS DANGEROUS.

Good Luck,
Rusty

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