I know readers of the White Mountain Independent don’t generally embrace the “California attitude.” But listen to this doosey.….Last week I read a great follow-up article in the Independent letting us know about an incident that is a perfect example what infuriates many of the newcomers to the area.

The article described the encounter between a young cougar in a tree spotted by a resident in Show Low on August 6 and a group of AZFGD men who were summoned to the situation. The mountain lion was peacefully sitting in a tree not showing aggression when it was shot with a tranquilizer and left with his head hanging in a branch, then pelted with beanbags for about an hour while it hung in the tree. Then the poor animal was drug away and later euthanized at our local AZGFD. This is unacceptable behavior in the civilized world and really just has to stop you guys..

I moved here 13 years ago after living in California and I have found that many men in Northern Arizona believe animals are their toys to destroy. I do not understand any human who could find torturing this beautiful animal a pleasure and I sure wouldn’t trust one to be honest or ethical. That is why I was immediately suspicious of their statement claiming that they can “never relocate these animals” and their death is the only option.

These men at AZFGD don’t feel like they owe us the truth; they don’t care if they make things up because we fall for it almost every time. They present themselves as the top experts on wildlife and that they care. The behavior of the Pinetop AZFG Officers who darted this poor animal in front of the neighbors showed no shame whatsoever. They proudly present their primitive behavior as if it’s manly and admirable. This shows how they feel about the residents too. I don’t think this looks good for the management in Pinetop AZFGD at all. It should not look good to the community either.

I came across an article from the Valley Press Newspaper out of Lancaster, California where a similar event went very very differently just on August 11, 2021. A young cougar was spotted in a construction site by construction workers in the Town of Lancaster. The local sheriff contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife while deputies evacuated the area and the construction workers used their trucks to block off the area.. Alerts were sent out on social media to stay away from the area. The animal remained calm throughout the incident. The article described the event like this:

“It all went very smoothly,” CDFS Public Information Officer Tim Daley said.

Department officials decided after a while to tranquilize the cat and relocate him to “the nearest suitable location because he was found in an area far away from any open space that could be considered his habitat. In situations where habitat is nearby, officials would instead try to coax him off on his own, Daly said.”

I wonder if Pinetop AZFGD is giving us old information or incorrect information or misusing the policy or something similar because it seems like corruption is everywhere up here in Navajo County. I’ll check with AZFGD in Phoenix and see what they come up with…..If truth shows that they did follow policy correctly, then the policy needs to be changed and we will be talking about it.

Cindy Miller,

Snowflake

(40) comments

Justsayin141

Good article. I agree totally.

shemakesrain

I agree with the author. If it is indeed the policy of AZFS to euthanize rather than relocate, this needs to be revisited.

libertyminded

I agree explain this or change this. We await your words of wisdom.

Russ_in_WML

Have you seen what California has done to the mountain lion there by listing it as a "special protected mammal"? We here in AZ do not want California policies whatsoever including game management. California has several deaths attributed to this law caused by mountain lions. Arizona has none. The Cougar is territorial and relocating it does not work once the animal has decided to enter the human interface, thus, euthanization.

You can always go back to California....

Justsayin141

Now you know how the Native Americans felt when you showed up.

Jordan

If they relocate it and it DOES come back and hurt somebody then you're complaining because they didn't do it right the first time. No matter what they did somebody will complain about it, that's just what people do nowadays, complain.

Justsayin141

Jordan. We humans CHOSE to live in their forest world. WE need to be more careful. If it does come back it's because you live in nature's forest.

Russ_in_WML

Hate to burst your animal rights activist bubble but animals are NOT equal to humans. Human lives are not replaceable. Mountain lions are replaceable.

Justsayin141

Oh Russ, I just wanted to say that your "we" now includes "me". Incoming new people will be better educated than you and it will become obvious. We are passionate about protecting what we love. Unfortunately that doesn't include "you" yet.

MountainMusic

Plaaaay meee some mountain Lion Music...

Jordan

Justsayin that's exactly where you're wrong. The game and fish is here to help protect us from a bad situation and unfortunately by us moving into the forest we just put that cat in danger, they cant both live in the same place period. I can tell that you didn't go to school to be able to make an educated decision on dealing with wildlife, whereas they have. You have to leave it up to the professionals instead of thinking you're the professional on everything.

Justsayin141

Jordan, I have an education so you are wrong again. I can tell too that you are a narrow minded brute.

xpdsniper

One of those pretty cats eats 50 deer sized game animals a year. if you are seeing them in neighborhoods then there are too many of them. Game & Fish should increase the # that can be harvested by hunters or we lose other game populations, mainly deer and antelope.

Justsayin141

Hey sniper. Those cats are doing what nature has programmed them to do to survive. Their job is to keep the forest in balance so if humans get in the way, they need to respect the beautiful science of nature. Please get out of my Forest. You want to kill the cats just so you can kill the animals they eat just for your own personal sick pleasure.

Russ_in_WML

Your emotions do not make facts change. State biologists study the mountain lion population closely and use facts to maintain a healthy population for ALL game animals. Your last sentence is partially true in that yes, predator populations are strictly maintained in order for elk, deer, antelope, and others to flourish. Even though I killed a lion years ago with my bow and she was delicious.

Justsayin141

You need to grow up and find another hobby besides killing not harvesting. Harvesting is for plants.

Justsayin141

I cannot believe you heathens are jealous of the cats killing the "game sized animals. Pathetic

Justsayin141

You also might like to know that I was asked by Anthony Madrid of the USFS to volunteer to help with the jumping mice. You won't be able to go that way either.....

Jordan

Justsayin I never said you didnt have an education, I said you didnt have an education in animals to give your opinion on it. Harvesting is for plants if you're a vegetarian. If you're not, it's also for animals. Have a good day justsayin.

ronzim

The fact here is that nature kept things in balance for billions of years before we ever got here. Imbalances are caused by our insistence on trying to manage nature, most of which results from overpopulation of humans. The rest is opinion. We are no longer hunter-gatherer beings; thus, it is my opinion that unless someone’s survival is involved, killing wild things is for pleasure and against my ethical convictions.

Russ_in_WML

Ron believes the planet cannot support the human population but we never see him talking about self termination to help his cause. Also humans have and always will hunt for food regardless of the satisfaction and enjoyment that putting food on the table brings. Political ideology and animal rights advocacy should never get in the way of whether I choose to hunt, or buy pre-packaged steaks at the store, or eat vegan because it makes you feel good. Hunting is wholesome, low in fat, high in protein, and positive for everyone/everything.

Justsayin141

Russ, how is hunting positive for everyone/everything? Please explain. Your comments are sort of senseless. Are you suggesting that Ron commit suicide? Please stop being so annoying.

Russ_in_WML

Hunting by way of conservation is good for the economy which raised 841 million last year alone in hunting licenses. That money is largely returned to conservation efforts by creating wildlife habitats, water sources, herd management, etc. Hunting allows adults to teach children about conservation, responsibility, hard work pays off, and to pay attention. So hunting is positive for everything.

Your Neighbor

Cindy, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Where in the world did you get your information? Yes, the mountain lion was sitting in a tree. Yes, thankfully he was sitting peacefully as there were dogs and young children in the yards below! Yes, he was tranquillized. He was not left with his head hanging in a branch. He was not pelted with beanbags. He did not hang there for an hour. He was not drug away. Thankfully the neighborhood had a peaceful ending to something that could have been tragic and traumatizing to the residents and the AZGFD. It was in MY tree in MY backyard so I do know what I’m talking about. My thanks to the very professional staff and follow up explanation of why relocation of wild animals is not always an option.

Justsayin141

Well I read it in the Independent Newspaper. Did you happen to see the article? Who are you covering for? I know a great deal about Pinetop AZFG behavior and attiitude towards women., believe me I very much have a right to this opinion. Cindy

Justsayin141

I don't know type of education is necessary to understand the difference between cruelty and kindness. I'll go the with kind and caring choice. More people should consider that nowadays.

[smile]

Clown2

The AZ Game and Fish Department has no explaining to do and the author here is wanting things her way and unwilling to listen to a professional agency that is highly respected around the country. This is their policy and it works fine. AZ has plenty of mountain lions and history has shown that releasing these animals is just too dangerous. It's one animal and they manage populations of animals. Get over it. If you don't like it, move back to California. If you haven't noticed, the animal kingdom is brutal - ever watch a mountain lion kill a deer fawn. Good job Game and Fish folks! Keep up the good work!

Justsayin141

Mr. Clown You sound like the one who is brutal not nature, and you do not intimate me one bit. You should know that by now.

che guevara

I have to agree with most of the comments posted thus far , as AZ Game and Fish does what is necessary to protect the public and manage as best they can issues as regards predatory and potentially dangerous species . As with most emotionally charged issues there are going to be some who are unhappy with the decisions made . So it goes . One can look back not too far into Arizona history and understand that the grizzly bear which was once a native species here in Arizona was eradicated due to the perceived incompatibility with human populations , even though the ranching interests proved once again to be the tail wagging the dog . Much the same can be said about the current restoration efforts for the Mexican Grey Wolf whose reintroduction I am in favor of . I would also like to see a reintroduction of the grizzly bear , and to see Arizona's historic , albeit marginal Jaguar population strengthen and thrive . This is after all the wild west...isn't it ?

As an aside : Russ , your comment directed towards Ron taking a proactive step towards reducing global population was in my opinion a bit too caustic . On the other hand , even though I totally agree with Ron as regards apocalyptic global overpopulation , an octogenarian who is too vocal about this crisis might do well to remember that old adage about glass houses and throwing stones .

Justsayin141

Russ did you poach that female cougar you brag about eating? Or is this one of the rare so called legal kills? We know poachers and ranchers run the Sitgreaves Forest that has already been proven.

wills1016

It’s actually not “rare” to legally harvest a cougar in AZ. No matter what insults you try and throw my way just be at peace with the fact that I will keep legally HARVESTING game animals all over this great state for my family. [beam]

Russ_in_WML

I had a lion tag which are year 'round btw.

ronzim

I grew up in a hunting and fishing family, surrounded by guns, where each hunting season was eagerly awaited. I had my own 22c./410g. over/under at the age of ten. I have never hunted, though. I went with my dad and uncles on many trips, but I always shot to miss and was eventually given up on as a hopeless shot. In the military, however, I proved to be a crack shot and held medals for three kinds of weapons. I must assert that this comprises a matter of opinion and personal ethics as to whether or not to hunt. The list of pros and cons is long; thus, it is our value systems which determine what we will do.

I am also a lifelong advocate for physician assisted suicide or other easy ways to release oneself from an overburdensome life as a matter of personal discretion. In that regard, I have made my own plans and included my family in them. Presently, I have a very busy and active life but understand that I am dying of old age. I insist on going out with dignity and on my own terms.

I have long commiserated about the greatest existential threat to our survival – overpopulation. I have also proposed several positive ways in which that can be mitigated without coercion: Better education of girls and women; assurance of full human, legal and social rights for women; free, universal access to contraception and training on how to employ it; universal right of women to have abortions within current court guidelines; free access to surgical sterilization; incentivizing small rather than large families; and physician-assisted suicide are all ways in which we might begin to reduce our current burgeoning apocalypse. Unfortunately, we have chosen famine, disease, and conflict as our preferred means of population control. Too bad.

Justsayin141

Ron you are an evolved and brilliant person. You are not dying of old age; you sound incredibly bright and much more lucid and caring than many humans younger than you. I truly hope you stay with us on this earth for many years to come.

Jordan

Justsayin how about this. Since you dont like their policies and you want to have a "kind" education. Let's just release all problem lions and bears in your backyard. That way you can be kind to them, they dont get put down, and we all live happily ever after.

Justsayin141

That is a very simple and childish idea, Jordan. Is that the best you can come up with?

Jordan

Exactly my point, I have to make it as simple as I can for you. You dont want them there either because they're dangerous.

ronzim

Jordan: Let us take a different tack here. Suppose you go out for a walk and after awhile you realize that you are in lion territory. Because we humans smell so strong, they know you are there long before you see them. When the lions show up, you seek refuge in a tall tree while they debate your fate: growwwwl, roaaarrr, purrrrrrrr. Should they show you the way back to your own yard or kill you. Hmmmmm, that’s a tough one. They decide to kill you and to add insult to injury, they eat you.

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

Justsayin141

No Jordan. I want these animals to live in the forest where they belong. Humans are just unwelcome visitors there. Maybe you guys shouldn't have slaughtered all of their natural predador population - the grizzley bears. You upset the balance in the forest. When you will kill the large male cougars, studies show several young aggressive cougars will try to take over his territory and are more prone to killing livestock and others. Many good studies have been done lately on this matter.

Jordan

So we've argued back and forth and here's my final answer. I'll leave decisions about wildlife up to professionals, the G&F. They've been managing the lion population greatly without any human injuries for as long as I can remember (unlike CA). This isnt a hunting thing, it's about professionals doing a professional job and keeping everybody safe. Good day to you all.

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