Saturday, December 18, 2004

Hello kitty

First come the deer, then come the lions.
State records show that mountain lions disappeared from Iowa in 1867. But with increasing and unnerving regularity, the ambush predator -- which will kill and eat house pets, livestock and humans but much prefers deer -- is back on the prowl, in Iowa and across the Midwest. It is turning up on farms, in suburbs and even in occasional appearances downtown....With deer nearly everywhere, the big cats, it seems, are finding haute cuisine in the land of big-box stores.

State game officials say mountain lions have triggered widespread paranoia, with many Iowans worrying about the beasts in an excessive and unhealthy way. False sightings are rampant. Scouting groups have canceled field trips.

When I lived in Palo Alto last year, a mountain lion wandered into a residential neighborhood. The 99-pound cat was found sitting in a tree, where it was shot dead by a police officer.

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