Mountain lion mix-up
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:
Last October, Predator Project Newsletter extensively
quoted and paraphrased from a letter by Michael Horan of Eagle’s
Nest, New Mexico, protesting the relocation of 13 mountain lions
as part of a study of their population dynamics which has yielded
strong evidence that the species should not be hunted. Horan linked
the relocation to older and ongoing mountain lion killing projects
undertaken to protect livestock.
Various animal protection groups picked up and echoed
Horan’s claims, condensing his account each time, dropping source
identification, and eventually adding appeals for letters of protest to
be addressed to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Then someone, remembering that the original item had been pub-
lished on newsprint, wrongly cited ANIMAL PEOPLE as the
source, although the first issue of ANIMAL PEOPLE hadn’t even
gone to press yet when Horan wrote his letter.
While Horan alleged that the relocated mountain lions were
being hunted, New Mexico Division of Wildlife chief Daniel
Sutcliffe states that, “Prior to moving lions to private lands,” the
researchers “obtained agreements with the owners to ensure they
would not be hunted, and they have not been.” Eight of the 13
mountain lions have died, however, including two who were killed
in fights with one another over territory and another who was tram-
pled by a buck deer he attempted to pounce for food. Mountain lions
are still being killed for predator control elsewhere in New Mexico,
but the numbers are down considerably from the early 1980s.