Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some Mystery Left

Peter Jackson's King Kong was on TV the other day, and there's a point when Jack Black's character- Carl Denham says of their recently killed-by-dinosaur colleague, "He died believing there is still some mystery left in this world - and we can all have a piece of it - for the price of an admission ticket!" Sadly, this seems to be the state of affairs in the film's setting (1930s New York) and perhaps more tragically, not much has changed. In a recent New York Times op-ed about man's control/influence over wolf populations, the writer states, "The more we think about it, the more we believe the only nature that matters anymore is human nature." The wolves of North America and the plight of the buffalo may be the most obvious examples of the concerns of human nature given preference over wildlife, but mountain lions have been in increasingly closer contact with people lately. Here in Colorado, the generally reclusive mountain lion has been seen more frequently because of the closer proximity of housing to the cougar's habitat, as well as evidence that the cougars are moving farther east - check out this footage shot in Evergreen, CO just this winter:

I think people still want to believe there are things and places that are undiscovered or unexplained (there certainly are), and on April 14, 2008 something happened in a Chicago suburb that helped keep that spirit alive - a mountain lion was roaming the streets in Chicagoland. I came across this story in Cryptomundo, and I tend to avoid re-posting things, but I was so intrigued by the story and the strangely beautiful photos that I had to share it. As you can see, it did not end well for the cougar. These pictures are by The Chicago Tribune’s photographer Candice C. Cusic:

A 150 pound cat in Chicago area. I love these photos - they seem haunting and poetic to me. To add to the bizarre nature of this story - the animal was shot down in the streets like a criminal, complete with crime-scene red tape. Of course, everyone's asking how it got there, and as far as I know there are no real answers. I guess there's still some mystery left...

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