history repeats itself, carefully retaining stupidity factor

Mountain lions (cougars)¬†typically eat things smaller than they are or the presumed weak. I’ve not only seen plenty of nature programmes and ‘when animals attack’ shows, but have actually worked with big cats for 10 years. I know how they behave, but even if you’ve only watched a couple of TV shows and have any sort of basic, common sense you don’t put the small one of the hiking group last in a single-file line in the wilderness.

BOULDER, Colorado (AP) — A 7-year-old boy hiking with his family was attacked Saturday by a mountain lion, officials said. The cat was later killed by a wildlife officer.

The mountain lion bit the boy’s head or jaw, and the child also suffered puncture wounds or scrapes on his legs, likely from the animal’s claws, Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was apparently the last in a single-file line of seven other people taking a short hike at a scenic area of Flagstaff Mountain, Baskfield said.

“The father turned and saw the cat had a hold of the young boy,” he said. The group began screaming at the cat and throwing rocks and was able to free the boy, he said.

The group was 50 yards from a parking lot when the cat attacked, Baskfield said.

(read the second half of the absurd story at CNN.com)

So, once again, stupid people hike without caution or common sense and the animal doing what it does naturally to survive – with instincts as ingrained as the homo sapien desire for beer and pizza – gets shot and killed. People, people, people. Don’t put children last in line for anything, especially in the woods. I don’t care how many pretty birds are singing or flowers are a bloomin’. Little Timmy will not grow up blaming a cougar for his wounds; he’ll blame the cerebrally deficient adults around him for dangling him in front danger. You may as well hang a lei of raw chicken around his neck while you’re at it.

Nature is not our friend, folks. It just shows mercy most of the time. Try to not be so naive.

For fun and therapeutic silliness (yes, I’m irritated that another cougar had to die for human stupidity), I thought I’d draw how I envisage the encounter to have gone. Click each photo for a larger view.

Safety first. (Or else a giant 2-dimensional stick figure will eat your head.)

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6 thoughts on “history repeats itself, carefully retaining stupidity factor”

  1. I completely agree with you. Anybody who has ever watched a nature show, war movie, or cowboys & indians show knows that you put the most vulnerable people in the middle. Everybody( except the really stupid ones, apparently) knows that enemies and animals always pick off whoever is bringing up the rear! I can’t believe that humans are at the top of the food chain–we don’t deserve to be.

    Love the drawings. They would be really cute on a t-shirt–front and back. More stick figure drawings illustrating your posts would be fun, too.

  2. Thanks Ginny!
    Yeah- seems so obvious doesn’t it? I despair.

    And thanks for the ‘artistic’ encouragement! 🙂 I just felt the sudden urge to express the ridiculousness of the event in stick figures. Perhaps more will appear on future posts… great idea!

  3. Even without the possibility of predatory big cats a child should never be the last member of the group, there should be responsible adults at the front and at the rear of a group when there are children involved. I have been with many school groups up mountains in Scotland and over parts of the Pennine Way in England. It just takes a kid to sit down because they are tired or get distracted off the path by something shiny and the rest of the group to be moving and within 10 minutes they are a mile away from the group and have no idea which path to follow.

  4. Exactly. You’d think people would have more common sense. Even without big cats‚Äö?Ñ?Æ injuries, poisonous plants, dangerous terrain, or just plain getting lost are true hazards as well. Heck, these problems can happen even on a tame public footpath.

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