From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:
Media accounts widely misrepresented
an alleged disparity between $21,000 donated to
help the orphaned cub of the mountain lion who
killed California runner Barbara Schoener in May,
and the $9,000 donated to help Schoener’s children.
In fact, $15,000 of the amount “given” to the cub
came from the Folsom County Zoo’s dedicated
building fund for creating a mountain lion exhibit,
which the cub will occupy. An attempt by hunters to
use the fatal attack as pretext to reverse a hunting
moratorium imposed in 1971 and made permanent
by the passage of the 1990 Mountain Lion Initiative
was rebuffed June 14 by committees of both the
California state senate and assembly. In Montana,
meanwhile, the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Commission delayed until August a decision on
whether to deliberately cause a mountain lion popu-
lation crash by raising the kill quota from 436 to 479,
of whom at least 328 would have to be females.
Anti-lion pressure from ranchers is up since Interior
Secretary Bruce Babbitt approved returning wolves
to Yellowstone, assuring an overall increase in the
regional predator density.
The Australian Koala Foundation pre-
dicts that koalas will be extinct in the wild within 30
years due to habitat loss. About 40,000 koalas
remain in the wild. The AKF draws about half of its
financial support from Japan, where concern for
koala survival is stronger than in Australia itself.
Sri Lanka announced June 14 that it
will restrict the elephant trade. “The move fol-
lows many complaints to the authorities that certain
Buddhist and Hindu temples that received baby ele-
phants as gifts from the state were found to have sold
them after a few years,” the Xinhua news agency
reported. Elephants play a leading ceremonial role
in the religious processions of both religions––but
elephants with tusks fetch $20,000 or more when
sold to clandestine slaughter.
Myanmar (Burma), whose dictatorial
government is believed to be deeply involved in rain-
forest logging and wildlife trafficking, on June 9
adopted a sweeping wildlife protection law.
Whether it will be enforced remains to be seen.
The Taiwanese Council of Agriculture
agreed on May 26 to relax enforcement of a ban on
trafficking in endangered species born on the island,
but warned a mob of about 100 protesting dealers
hat it could not ignore traffic in species of foreign
origin. The Council took a stronger stance on June 7,
after the Beautiful Taiwan Foundation produced a
survey finding that most customers for bear’s paw,
tiger’s penis, and endangered pangolins at Ho Chi
Minh City wildlife restaurants are Taiwanese.
“Eating these is a national shame,” said Council vice
chairman Lin Shiang-nung.
The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game on
June 9 reported a rapid rise in caribou calving in the
area where it killed 150 wolves last winter––but
independent biologist Gordon Haber said few would
survive, due to eagle predation on the newborns.