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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Is It Necessary to Kill Mountain Lions?

January 13, 2004

Re "Lion Attacks O.C. Biker; Man Found Dead Nearby," Jan. 9: How many more people will be attacked before Proposition 117 (to ban the game hunting of mountain lions) is repealed? When mountain lions were legally thinned by hunters, we didn't have as many of these attacks. I don't want to hear that we are encroaching on their homes. That is nonsense. I have never seen a mountain lion on a deed. Anyone who attempts to justify these attacks because it was the lions' home needs to leave California immediately. That will be one less person "encroaching" on the mountain lions' home. Mountain lions were not threatened or endangered when Proposition 117 was passed. Now they are overpopulating many areas.

Kim and Ken Carpenter

Culver City

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There is no disputing that the mountain lion attacks on two off-road bicyclists in Orange County are tragedies. What is worth disputing is the killing of the mountain lion responsible for at least one of the attacks, by Orange County sheriff's deputies. The attacked bicyclists were in a wilderness area with signs clearly posted warning of the presence of mountain lions. These wilderness areas are the habitat of mountain lions.

As residential and commercial development further reduces the size of these wilderness areas, a starving mountain lion will look at almost anything as a source of food. Instead of killing these mountain lions that, on very rare occasions, threaten or attack a human, dog or cat, why can't these lions be tranquilized and relocated to more remote areas? Where is the humanity in killing an animal that is merely looking for food to survive?

Steve Gould

Tustin

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