I agree with you, Dun. When lions lose their fear of humans, there is a disaster in the making. Lions are also protected here, although limited hunting permits are issued some years.
When the foal was killed here, the DNR guy was out that morning to examine the kill. He authorized a trapper to come out with his dogs and hunt the lion. I had taken detailed pictures that morning, but the owners of the foal moved it before the trapper arrived. It was then very hard for him to tell what had happened. I took him in the house and showed him the pictures on the computer and he found them very helpful. The lion wasn't found, and hasn't been back. It's got thousands of acres of rocky hills and mountains to roam, with abundant deer, elk, & moose in the area.
When the full grown female was seen crossing by our house, DNR quietly put out the word among a few ranchers that DNR would look for it, but that it was ok for those ranchers to shoot it if it was seen in this location again. It headed into a cornfield and for an isolated subdivision. Many of us calve in this immediate area, too, so there was some concern for livestock as well as small children. But, since lions normally roam over a very large area, it moved on.
Even so, every time I went out to my mailbox, which sits under some 60 year old willows, I scanned those willows carefully.
Not that it would have done much good - the lion I saw up close in MT froze when it saw me, then began a very slow gliding motion backwards, still crouched, and completely disappeared into the rocks in just a few feet. It had to have been 8 feet long and I knew it was still there, but it blended so well with the color of the rocks and because of its way of moving, that I could no longer see it after a few seconds.
> In CA lions are totally protected.
> If there is an incidence of
> predation on livestock you have to
> call the state and they'll send
> some on out to investigate, then
> in theory they will hunt the cat.
> Problem is that it takes generally
> several weeks for them to show up
> and by then according to the state
> guys they can't tell if it was
> killed by a cat or something else.
> Ranches we used to hunt had
> healthy deer populations and very
> few cats. We saw the cat numbers
> increase until it wasn't uncommon
> to see half a dozen a day. Now
> those same ranches have no deer
> fewer lions but more dead calves.
> It all has to be balanced, total
> elimination by shooting probably
> would never happen, even if you
> threw in trapping it would put a
> dent in the population but not
> eliminate it. Wacking them when
> they show up will keep them
> thinned and also help them keep
> the wild instincts that will allow
> them to survive in wild areas.