God created it to be a predator.  It’s on top of the food chain in its wilderness environment.  Everything about it is designed for hunting.

It has stealth capabilities that makes it virtually undetectable by most living creatures.  This hunter can pad quietly at a swift pace, quickly covering ground between it and its next prey.  But, when it needs to be, it can wait motionless for long periods of time, tuning its sense of hearing, eyesight and smell to pick up all the data it needs to make an effective strike.

When a mountain lion chooses its prey, that animal has entered into a danger zone that many creatures have never survived.  Like a hundred tightly wound springs, this cat launches itself at its prey and systematically brings home its dinner with an efficient bite to the jugular.  Razor sharp claws pins the animal down.

But, when civilization crowds the habitat of the cougar, a battle will ensue that the cat will never win.  One cougar found how easy it was to slip and live among humans.  It stayed out of sight and hunted only at night.

Townspeople noticed the disappearance of family pets.  Dogs and cats were disappearing in steady numbers.  Wildlife officials were suspicious of a rogue mountain lion.

Investigation with patrols and night vision goggles confirmed their suspicions.  Citizens were warned to keep their children and pets indoors.  Eventually the cat was hunted successfully and the threat was neutralized.

Another mountain cat in Nevada was heading for danger as well.  He was a powerful beast.  Swift-footed and skilled in hunting he clashed with humans too.

He was hit by a car while crossing the highway at night.  His back hind legs were immobile.  Veterinarians  came into to help.

Today, this majestic beast is living out its life at an animal sanctuary.  He is separated from the towns and suburbs where he was prowling for a meal.   Nearly fully recovered his mobility keeps him out of trouble.  He has a pass from further conflicting clashes with humans.

Yet, his majestic presence is unmistakable.  He is still a lean hunting machine.  It is part of his DNA.  He can’t change that nor can it be changed for him.

Today he lies under his shade tree, spies the humans who visit the sanctuary and wonders why his life is so regimented.  He wants to roam and hunt.  But, that desire is lost forever.  He gets to live instead.

photo credit: brucefong photography