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.