Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cougars in the suburbs?

By now we all know that the suburban cougar is alive and well. The suburban cougar is pursued by young males everywhere. If I weren't married, I'd probably be pursuing a cougar for myself because she'd probably have a few tricks up her sleeve. But today I'm not talking about that suburban cougar that hangs out at bars and wears seductive clothing. Today I'm talking about real cougars in the giant feline form.

A local thoroughbred who was supposed to be a spokeshorse of sorts for other retired ponies was attacked by what many think to be a cougar on a farm in Prior Lake near a Shakopee elementary school. I've always had my doubts about the tales I've heard since moving here about cougars and coyotes roaming the valleys along the Minnesota River. My wife is particularly adamant about the existence of coyotes. She recounts memories of hearing them on the farm she grew up on just above the Minnesota River. Her brothers had seen coyotes in the woods near the farm and her dad had shot at them to scare them away on numerous occasions.

Again, I had my doubts. I never believe something until I've seen it with my own eyes. Then one night while driving in the Belle Plaine area along Highway 169 I actually saw a small dog-like animal standing on the shoulder of the road. I knew it wasn't a fox - I have seen plenty of those while growing up in far southern Minnesota. My wife immediately told me that it was a coyote.

And that is exactly what the Minnesota DNR thinks attacked My Friend Deke, the horse that was stabling in Prior Lake. If I lived in that immediate area or had kids who attended that particular elementary school, I'd be alreat but not concerned. After all, we are the ones who encroached on the area which these wild animals call home. Six years ago when I moved here, that particular area was still corn fields and woods. Now it is leveled and full of half-million dollar homes and strip malls. When humans and animals try to co-exist, it's usually the animals who end up losing the battle in the end but a cougar or a coyote attacking a farm animal should serve as a wake-up call that we are all pissing nature off.

If you like nature and want to embrace it, check out MinnPics which often times showcases fabulous photos of Minnesota's natural beauty.


justacoolcat said...

I don't think you should have doubts that cougars are here in the river valleys.

You know they killed one a few years ago.

And there are also pics.

snowelf said...

My brother had a coyote run into the side of his truck while he was driving and it made a big dent. It was just craziness. I've seen more wildlife living up here than I think the Minnesota zoo houses...I wouldn't doubt a cougar. Or a bear. Or a dingo...