2 Responses

  1. mrm
    mrm June 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm |

    Isn’t it illegal to kill bobcats in Indiana???? Why is it that most people’s responses to mysterious animals are to shoot it. This seems to happen alot as indicated in Loren’s book Mysterious America everybody just shoots whether its mountain lions or some other unknown felid.

  2. AreWeThereYeti
    AreWeThereYeti June 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

    @ mrm:

    While bobcats are a protected species in Indiana, it is permissible to kill them – or any animal for that matter – if the shooter feels that his or her personal safety is in jeopardy. It is also generally permissible to kill a predator that is attacking pets or livestock, which are considered private property under the law.

    As to “why” people feel compelled to shoot unknown or out-of-place felids (as was the case here) is another question. Personal safety/defense of property, as stated above, are certainly valid reasons.

    The involvement of law enforcement officers is another reason. They cannot let a potentially dangerous animal roam, at will, through populated areas and the matter often comes to a head when officers “tree” or otherwise corner the now-frightened/agitated/aggressive animal before animal control or local zoo officials can arrive to effect a non-lethal capture.

    Others may feel no one will believe their extraordinary story without a “body on a slab” to back it up. They may also perceive it as a chance to “bag” an exotic or unknown animal; thereby assuring their 10 minutes of fame or, perhaps, with the thought that they make some money off of the deed.

    There is also the fact that a clearly OOP animal – say a tiger in a Chicago forest preserve, or African Lion in a Midwest farmer’s back-40, clearly have no business being there and never will. They are NOT native species and cannot be left to their own devices. When faced with such a creature, the choice to shoot first and ask questions later may be warranted.

    With that said, there have been recent mountain lion sightings in the forest preserve just up the street from my home (suburban Cook County,IL). We’ve had coyotes & foxes for years – but a cougar? It certainly gives me pause… Do I want it shot on sight? No. Would I shoot if it presented a danger to myself, a child or a family pet? No doubt about it!

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