I have been told that there is a mountain lion hanging around a nearby school. Here I talk to that mountain lion.
Laura: Why are you here?
Mountain Lion: I have been teaching my little one to hunt and the bunnies are easy to catch. My mother brought me here when I was young. The people are kind. Mostly they look at me with awe. They do not bother me and I do not bother them.
Laura: Do you know that the human residents are very worried about people who walk the land and they would like you to move away?
Mountain Lion: I have been taught never to bother a dog and to walk away from people. I do not understand why they would be worried.
Laura: Mountain lions have injured people in other places. The people here are worried that you may injure them. If you keep being seen they say they will call in someone to hurt your or take you away. Many other people are worried about your life.
Mountain Lion: I have heard that people have killed bears but not mountain lions. If people kill not to eat and just out of fear the whole balance of the valley will be off. The wildlife will begin to hate people rather than trying to live in harmony.
Laura: I am so sorry. I agree. People fear what they do not understand. Can you take your young to hunt in another area and disappear from sight? I am worried about your safety.
Mountain Lion: There is not much more territory for us to go. The people are encroaching on us and the mountain lion population is growing. We are all worried about fire season and many lions are moving out of the backcountry.
Laura: Do you think there will be a bad fire season?
Mountain Lion: That’s what we speculate, because there is not as much grass and vegetation this year and the smaller mammals are much fewer. When fire rages we have to run for our lives. Many are learning to live closer to people so that our lands are saved.
Laura: You have to find a way to hide yourself and keep safe.
Mountain Lion: I thought the people here have respected us. I have always felt safe here.
Laura: Unfortunately things are changing. You can never trust people.
Mountain Lion: But you are a person.
Laura: Yes. But I might even fear your species if you walked where my young resided. There is a prey instinct.
Mountain Lion: I will disappear. I know how to be hidden. I just thought it to be safe here. I do not prey on people.
Laura: I am so sorry. I wish that someday we all could feel safe.
Mountain Lion: The health of the ground is changing. The quality of the air is changing. There is more sickness. If people do not change, none of us will be around.
Laura: Do you really believe that, that none of us will be around?
Mountain Lion: It’s is getting harder to live in peace with humans close, and your species is harming the environment. A natural state is becoming hard to achieve. I’m sorry that people cannot read my body language. I am no harm to them. Humans seem to have no eye for balance. All other animals can read my intentions. How do humans get along with each other?
Laura: You make a very good point. I feel the same way you do. I am sorry to bring bad news. Please keep yourself and your young safe.