Tag Archive for: Colorado

Choose your words carefully

Feb 20, 2022
OutThere Colorado

“Mountain Lions On The Prowl Again In This CO Neighborhood,” “Four mountain lions seen stalking around Colorado neighborhood,” “4 mountain lions prowl Conifer neighborhood.” These three headlines are for the same event- a family of mountain lions caught on a security camera, walking through a Colorado neighborhood at night, without any incident. So why are the words prowling and stalking used to describe their behavior instead of walking, meandering, or exploring? Stalk and prowl indicate criminal behavior, like a thief peeking into windows, looking to steal from or hurt someone. Why are these words used so often to describe cougars?

If you actually watch the video, the big cats are just doing what animals do, walking around and not bothering anyone at all. Words matter, and when the words most often used to describe benign animal behavior, indicate negative or even criminal intent, it can seep into the minds of the people reading the words. Without even realizing it, people may start to fear these animals, thinking that they are always out to get them, even when they are just living their lives and not hurting anyone at all. We should all try to be more conscious of the words we use to describe wildlife and try not to bestow negative human traits on normal animal behavior.

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Colorado Legislature Rejects Bill that would End Killing Wild Cats for Sport


Colorado lawmakers in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted against Senate Bill 31, which would have prohibited the sport hunting of mountain lions, lynx, and bobcats in the state. Very vocal opponents to the bill, including many ranchers, hunters, and outfitters, vehemently objected to the measure and flooded lawmakers’ inboxes with comments. The Humane Society and other animal welfare groups were in support of the bill. The hearing lasted three hours due to the huge number of people who testified on both sides. Obviously this is a contentious issue in Colorado, with passionate people on both sides. 

Although it is disappointing that mountain lions and other cats will not be afforded the additional protections, the argument has shed a light on some ongoing issues. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the agency tasked with managing wildlife in the state, receives 75% of their annual revenue from hunting and fishing licenses. People and groups outside of the hunting and fishing communities do not feel like their perspective and opinions on the management of wildlife are being heard. The argument on this bill also highlights that good sound science should be used when making management decisions.