Here’s another one of those stories that I don’t get. A family vacationing at Green Canyon Hot Springs in Madison County, Idaho was surprised by a mountain lion that attacked the youngest member of the family, a little 4-year old girl. The parents charged the lion and scared it off, but not before it bit and scratched the little girl. The girl’s injuries weren’t very serious, considering the size and weight of the lion – and it’s large, sharp teeth.
Madison County Sheriff’s deputies located and shot and killed the animal. That makes little sense to me, since that lion was at home, in its own element. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game,
“sightings of [mountain lions] and attacks on humans are rare.” That confuses me, because there are signs warning of the presence of animals, like this one. It’s not as though it’s a total surprise to the family. Wouldn’t you expect to encounter an animal in the wilderness, especially where there is a warning sign advising visitors to be aware? I could see if the lion were roaming a residential street and attacked that girl. But it was in its own natural environment.
Let’s put this thing into proper context. Let’s say you come into my home uninvited and I attack you, chasing you away. I’m just protecting my territory, my home. That’s all that mountain lion was doing, yet he got killed. The lion got away, the family was out of harm’s way, and everything was seemingly back to normal. But the cops hunted it and killed it. Go figure.
One day when the girl is older, maybe she’ll ask her parents why they were hanging out in mountain lion territory. It’s a shame they caused that lion to get killed in its own habitat. That’s all for my soapbox rant.
Related Story: When Animals Attack