By now, you’ve probably seen the footage of the mountain lion standing on the roof of the car in San Jose, California.
For those who missed that story, a man got a visit from the wild animal at around 3 a.m. last Wednesday. It hopped onto his car and set off the alarm. According to the Los Angeles Times, the big cat most likely made its way into the neighborhood from nearby Almaden County Quicksilver Park.
The owner of the car, David Tang, made the surveillance video public to warn others in the area to “pay attention to the wildlife situation.”
Yeah, that’s the understatement of the year.
Encounters with mountain lions in California are not always as tame. As reported by The Inquisitr, one of the predators attacked a 6-year-old boy near Cupertino. The child suffered non-life threatening wounds to his head and neck before his parents were able to scare off the animal.
Of course, after that incident, blame instantly fell on the mountain lion. The cat must have something wrong with it. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise you that the animal was hunted down and killed.
To paraphrase Chris Rock, that mountain lion didn’t go crazy; that mountain lion went mountain lion. In other words, it was hungry, saw something smaller and weaker than itself, and followed its instinct to hunt and kill in order to survive.
Maybe if we want to avoid this sort of occurrence, where species interact in fatal encounters, we should be more mindful of how we encroach upon these animals’ already decimated remaining habitats.
To put it another way, we need to stop thinking that wildlife, and nature in general, exists only to be subdued and exploited by humanity. Because obviously that attitude doesn’t always work out so well for us.
And yet we continue to push further and further into these animal’s habitats. In California, the wilderness areas where mountain lions dwell are being split up by roads and development. The splitting up of breeding populations, as well as the killing of animals considered threats to public safety, has diminished the genetic diversity of the big cats.
Ironically, inbreeding can lead to uncharacteristic behaviors among a species. Maybe this means it’s our fault that more mountain lions are being born with a lower threshold of fear of humans, making them more likely to attack us.
We need to stop being shocked by reports of attacks on humans by predatory animals, because thanks to our continued destruction of their habitat, we’re only bringing this trouble down on ourselves.
[Image via Los Angeles Times]