Mountain Lion Attack: Inevitable Or Avoidable?

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As civilization marches on, there is a growing number of wildlife officials who believe Rim Country is headed for a serious mountain lion attack.

Construction crews have recently reported sightings of young male lions in the area, likely searching for a territory. A key element in their search will be the availability of food.

There are many well-meaning residents who put food out to feed javelina, raccoons and other wildlife. Their offerings attract some of the mountain lion's favorite prey, bringing them ever closer to our doorsteps. It's frightening to think that with every bowl of food, or tossed leftovers, these individuals may actually be setting the stage for the violent death of a child, or serious injury to a neighbor who enjoys walking her dog in the evening.

Time and time again, wildlife experts have sharply cautioned us against such actions, but still it continues. Will it take a tragedy to make us heed the warning?

Please, don't feed the javelina. Feed pets indoors or remove leftover food immediately. Store all garbage securely. Do not discard edible garbage where javelina or other wildlife can reach it. For those who enjoy watching birds in their yards, please keep birdseed and water off the ground and out of reach. A platform can be attached to the bottom of most feeders to catch spilled seed.

As reported in our lead story today, the best thing we can do for our wildlife is to keep them afraid of us. Remember, no matter how delightful or intriguing it may be to see wildlife in our yards, these animals deserve to be left alone and wild.

For more tips about living with Arizona wildlife visit www.gf.state.az.us.

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