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Old June 4, 2006, 11:50 PM   #11
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Swampdog,

Nope, it doesn't surprise me anymore. Frustrates, exasperates, infuriates, riles, annoys, and angers me, yes, but not surprise. I'm convinced that about 60% of the Californians are clueless about the reality of nature.

I live in the lower part of silicon valley. The foothills are a five-ten minute drive from home. Those living in what used to be rural areas have seen housing tracts oozing ever closer. I've motorcycled in this area quite a bit and seeing a cougar isn't unusual. In fact, one day while changing into lightweight gloves alongside the road I looked up to see Chauncy sunning himself on a rock, watching me carefully from maybe 40 feet. I made brief eye contact, spoke aloud in a calm voice and then proceeded to go about my business with occasional glances at him. We didn't bother each other and I rode off one way and he got up and disappeared into the long grass.

They are beautiful animals when they are fit and fed. Typically they are not very aggressive towards people when there is game around for them to hunt. They're almost painfully shy. But that doesn't mean I want one to hug me either. But a cougar in a residential neighborhood, miles from rural country is a danger to anyone it encounters -- and could be too easily startled into doing damage.
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