The first post of The Cougar Fund’s blog is dedicated to good people and to good news. It was the foresight and compassion of acclaimed wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen and author Cara Blessley Lowe that led to the foundation of The Cougar Fund.
Tom’s magnificent images and Cara’s sensitive writing brought the story of Spirit of the Rockies to the world. The beautiful story of a mother cougar and her three young kittens paved the way to change how mountain lions are perceived in the hearts and minds of many people. The myths about cougars that form the ramparts behind which those who would destroy them hide, are slowly but surely being undermined by science and common sense.
The Cougar Fund carries the torch that Tom and Cara lit.
Our mission is to enlighten people about the natural history and behavior of this iconic species, and to lighten the burden of fear that has caused apex predators to be undeservedly vilified. And what of the cougars themselves-the ghost cats? They spend their lives trying to avoid humans. They are contributors to the environment and yet their lives, or the taking of them, are regarded as ‘sport’ in our society. It is vital that we encourage citizens and decision makers to re-examine what constitutes ‘recreation’. Hunting cougars is not a safety mechanism. It is not a management tool…it is only for fun! Habitat loss and fragmentation are probably the greatest challenges that wildlife face. Innovation and willingness to take steps towards conflict prevention are proactive tools for respectful co-existence.
Cougars and other large carnivores are not present on the land as targets of our fickle entertainment choices. They are all keystone species that directly enhance the biodiversity of the environment. We need them.
We are excited and humbled to be able to share our thoughts and our mission with you through this blog. We want to bring you interesting and inspiring guest blogs, to weigh in on current events, to encourage participation in finding solutions when challenges occur.
The Cougar Fund’s message is being echoed in ever widening circles. More people are stepping up to be a voice for animals in the human forum of wildlife decision making. When this happens in Government it is very good news indeed. We see this demonstrated in Nebraska where Senator Ernie Chambers has challenged the validity and humaneness of that state’s inaugural cougar hunt. Senator Chambers is standing up for cougars and other creatures and people are hearing him. This gives us great hope and affirms the passion and dedication of Tom and Cara. Their decision to form The Cougar Fund was visionary, and it is undeniably good news for the natural world.
Please ‘tune-in’ again soon. You are all essential members of The Cougar Fund Family!