Get Off My Turf

As mountain lions make a roaring comeback in the West, confrontations with humans are on the rise

The early Spanish explorers of the Americas once called the creature amigo del cristiano, friend of the Christian--an odd name for a lion. That beneficent image was probably owing to Native American beliefs in the beast's role in maintaining harmony between heaven and humankind. The Chickasaw called the feline "the cat of God." And for centuries, puma concolor (a.k.a. mountain lion, cougar, panther, catamount) avoided people. It was an elusive presence: a tail vanishing into the bush, a distant snarl, the rare but startling act of God.

Well, prepare to meet your maker. Suddenly it seems humans are encountering mountain...

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