Blood thirsty lions attack us all the time

John Pluntze in Ketchum, Idaho wrote a letter expressing his concern about the dangers of mountain lions near towns. In it he alleges that mountain lions "more often than not," attack us just for being in their territory. He makes it sound like you can't walk out your door without getting smacked around by a lion.

He also says that you can look it up on the internet if you don't believe him. Way to back up your argument, man.

Some dude who commented says that wolves are super deadly too, and that you can look that up on the internet too. A) That's not true. Wild wolves hardly pose a threat to humans in North America. And 2) What's with people citing the internet in general, instead of specifying sources? Is this a common practice amongst wackadoozles?

Spreading this kind of misinformation leads to legislating some really asinine measures, like an automated telephone system to call you every time a mountain lion is sighted. Mountain lions and wolves alike are actually very tolerant of humans being in their territory. People recreate, hunt, fish, picnic, log, mine, camp, swim, start forest fires, ride ATVs, and build houses and golf courses and ski resorts in lion and wolf territory everyday, usually without being attacked. If anything, it's we who kill them for being in our territory. How many times have you read an article about a lion meandering into a nieghborhood/golf course/insert-name-of-human-territory-here and being shot? That actually does happen all the time.

I think its important to sort out fact from fiction, so I looked up a few facts on the internet:

Research by Dr. Paul Beier, Cougar expert at Northern Arizona University, tells us that less than 1 person per year is killed by a mountain lion.

Yes, wild animals are unpredictable, dangerous, and capable of killing us. We should take precautions to keep ourselves safe. But let's not exaggerate the facts. We don't need to make lions out to be the blood thirsty killers of horror movies. Let's keep it real.

Photo Caption: P2 (lived from approximately 2002-2006 without ever killing a person, and then was killed by a person), photo by Emily

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