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At Daniel Levin Becker’s blog, you’ll find a collection of 20 songs in honor of the cougar killed in metropolitan Berkeley, California, on August 31st.  You can dowload most of them.

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2010/09/the_lion_sleeps_tonight_a_trib.php

Chicago Cougar

The Berkeley Police Department shot and killed an errant mountain lion early yesterday morning. In the minor controversy that has ensued over whether they should have made more of an effort to tranquilize her before pulling out the patrol shotgun, we’ve already lost sight of the human element to this tragedy. Well, okay, the feline element.

Lest the life lost languish in obscurity, we propose the following dramatic reenactment-cum-audio compilation in honor of Puma Thurman. That’s what we’re calling her. We’ll see if it sticks.

Tim Dunbar, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation, said yesterday: “Officers had little choice in how to handle the cougar.  I’m not sure they could have done anything differently,” he said. “There’s a big difference in a mountain lion that’s been treed and you have time to think what you’re going to do and one running around a neighborhood at 3 in the morning.”  http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/berkeley-debates-the-demise-of-a-cougar/

Let’s remember two other cougars that were potential recolonizers of the Midwest.  There was the young male shot by law enforcement officers in north Chicago on April 14, 2008.  He had been tracked through southern Wisconsin that winter and apparently made the mistake of traveling down a wooded canal.  When the woods ran out, he hid under a porch.  First responders probably had little choice but to gun him down.

Less excusable was the killing of another young male new Marengo, Iowa on December 14, 2009.  A hunter saw it reclining on a branch in a distant tree.  He confirmed it was a cougar through his spotting scope.  It stayed there for about 40 minutes while the hunter confirmed that cougars have no protection in Iowa.  He then shot and killed it and later served its flesh at a dinner.  It was the 4th cougar confirmed in Iowa in recent years.  (Click on Iowa in the right column under “Cougar News.” for articles and photos of the incident.)

Ron deArmond of the Pelles Wildlife Company – www.pellawildlifecompany.org –  and others are working to gain protected status for cougars in Iowa.

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In memoriam: Berkeley’s mountain lion

A memorial set up for the mountain lion shot by the BPD on Tuesday. Photo: John Bennett.

Some Berkeleyans, saddened by the mountain lion shot by police early Tuesday morning, have established an informal memorial to the animal at Shattuck and Cedar.

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