Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Cougar Corner": He walked 800-miles just to be killed!

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He walked 800-miles just to be killed!
Cougar Corner 12/29/2009
Tim Dunbar

On December 14, 2009, Raymond Goebels Jr., a 47-year old deer hunter from Cedar Rapids, shot a non-threatening mountain lion out of a tree near the town of Marengo, Iowa. If the experts are correct, the young, dispersing adult lion Mr. Goebels killed had traveled at least 800-miles from the Black Hills of South Dakota before crossing the path of a man who wanted to kill something . . . anything. Since it is not illegal to kill lions in Iowa at this time, Mr. Goebels felt justified, even triumphant in killing the scared, helpless animal.

Many decry the number of laws which are in existence in America today. There are even commercials making fun of ones which are outdated, possibly even a little silly when considered in modern terms or conditions-but it is because of hunters like Mr. Goebels, for whom if something isn't strictly forbidden then it must be OK, that states like Iowa, which don't even have a recognized mountain lion population, need laws to protect these magnificent creatures.

Over a hundred years ago, misguided pioneers changed the ecological landscape of that state by eradicating the cougar. This was done in the mistaken belief that it was necessary for the safety of all Iowans and their domestic livestock. Science has since proven this action to be unnecessary. Now, as individual cougars try to recolonize those portions of the state which still provide suitable habitat, Iowans must learn from past mistakes and embrace the returning creatures as a part of their state's lost heritage.

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