A bill that would have exempted six counties from Washington’s statewide ban on hound hunting cougars died in the state Senate on Wednesday. SB 5940 passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee in a bipartisan vote, but no further action was taken on the bill before the March 11th deadline.
The CougarFund was strongly opposed to SB 5940, and submitted a detailed letter to the Senate Committee. As most of you know, SB 5940 would have been extremely regressive and would have undone all the good Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is already doing to help people coexist with predators.
A young male cougar weighing about 40 pounds was shot and killed this week near Whiteclay, Nebraska. According to the Nebraska Game and Parks report, a homeowner heard growling coming from underneath his porch while working outside. After apparently trying unsuccessfully to get the young lion to leave, the man decided to shoot it. Game and Parks estimates that the cat was likely only 4 or 5 monthsold.
This incident raises the question: What was such a young cat doing on its own? And so near to people? While we don’t have all the facts yet (and we might never know all the circumstances that led to this situation), we do wonder if this is the result of 11 female lions being killed last year in Nebraska…
A long-running case to prosecute a group of outfitters in Colorado responsible for the illegal trapping, maiming, and killing of cougars and bobcats has this week come to a close. Nicholaus Rodgers, the last defendant to stand trial, was sentenced on Monday to 36 months of probation (including six months of home detention) after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.
According to the publication Westword, “…the hunts were usually rigged to guarantee an easy kill. Rodgers, Loncarich, and others involved in the scheme would capture the big cats in advance in leg traps or cages, then hobble them in some fashion — usually by shooting them in the foot or the stomach. The maimed cats would then be released, to be picked off by the just-arrived clients during outings in the Book Cliff Mountains in western Colorado and eastern Utah.”
Check out this innovative website that explores and examines the known history of mountain lions in California’s Santa Monica mountains. It is visually stunning and highlights the struggles of these cats to move around and avoid inbreeding.