No fan of lions

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Environmental extremists advocate that we all just lively happily with our mountain lion neighbors because they are noble creatures who practice something like Zen Buddhism. I don’t think that lions feel that way when they are munching on some fourth grader’s thighbone as if it were cat food. While cougars have been endangered in the past, their protected status has caused their population to double in the past 20 years and attacks on humans have increased dramatically. Why aren’t officials telling you this? Because an industry of bureaucrats, including conservation managers, earth scientists and nonprofits receive millions of dollars in Federal and State “study money” to follow mountain lions around under the pretense that all of the trees and animals in the Santa Monica Mountains will vanish without them.

But is it really responsible to publish photos of Rangers hugging drugged up mountain lions in their arms as if these animals were kittens and conducting seminars on ways to teach your five-year-old how to behave around mountain lions? What’s next, teaching our children how to swim peacefully with sharks? Lifting laws on pit bulls and letting them roam free? Reintroducing the grizzly bear to our back yards? I sincerely wish mountain lions didn’t eat people. But they do and it’s compassion, not cruelty, to avoid having our residents mauled to death as has happened elsewhere under precisely the same circumstances agencies are creating in Malibu.

To “implement breeding and reintroduction programs with an emphasis on threatened species,” including mountain lions is a major goal of the Malibu Creek State Park’s new General Plan. The residents of Serra Retreat especially need to know that Malibu Creek behind Serra has been mapped as “core habitat” and a “biocorridor” for these animals. The plan admits the lions do not have enough of the food in the small area of the Santa Monica Mountains that they need to survive (20 or more deer per lion annually.) That’s why they are eating out of trash cans, jumping fences for pets and will not hesitate to leap over six foot fences to eat our children.

Like followers of fanatic Islam who seek the death of Jews and Christians, environmental fanatics can rationalize the death of a child to protect their fantasy that urban parkland is wilderness. Their earth first religion offends most of us who adore plants and animals. I devoted years to tree planting campaigns and removing asphalt in school playgrounds with Treepeople to bring kids closer to nature. If the mountains are made unsafe for kids to hike because bureaucrats get more grant money breeding predator cats, it will be a sad triumph of bureaucracy over common sense.

Ann Hoffman