Last night in the garden around 9pm, I heard this chorus of beautiful songdogs; my beloved coyote family. This lasted nearly a full minute, along with other shorter lyrical melodies.
Turn up the volume, as it was extremely LOUD! I wanted to run up the hill to join them, but I did that once and broke my wrist in the dark, so I merely sent them all my love.
I know what you’re thinking, but there are other reasons for this symphony besides a fresh meal…
“The sound of coyotes howling and yipping at night sometimes causes people concern and alarm. Some mistakenly believe howling indicates that a group of coyotes has made a kill. While coyotes howl for a variety of reasons, it is not likely because they have downed prey. Doing so would draw attention and might attract competing coyotes or other predators to their location, which is not something a hungry coyote would want to do. Coyotes howl and yip primarily to communicate with each other and establish territory. They may bark when they are defending a den or a kill.” https://wildlifehelp.org/solution/district-columbia/coyote/should-i-be-concerned-if-i-hear-coyotes-howling-yipping-or-barking/93
Even if you’re not from Southern California, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of P-22, a mountain lion that resided in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, on the eastern side of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Somehow he crossed freeways to settle in the rugged, chaparral-cloaked slopes of one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. He remained there since then, hunting mule deer and other animals for food in the natural areas of the park.
P-22 was first identified in 2012 and was the subject of significant media attention, also as the subject of books, television programs, and works of art. He even had his own Facebook page, courtesy of savelacougars.org/
He wasn’t just a big cat. He was a symbol of resistance, resistance to the idea that LA has no wildlife, to development in his own backyard, to dwindling numbers of mountain lions in SoCal.
P22 had been living in Griffith Park for about ten years, but it’s as if he was actually trapped. He could never find a mate as no other mountain lion could reach the park without getting killed on the freeways.
What a confusing world he must’ve lived in with all these loud humans with their fast cars and concrete. For me, he served as a reminder (along with coyotes and bobcats) that we have always been the invaders. They were here first.
A mountain lion believed to be the famous P-22 allegedly attacked and injured a small dog in Silver Lake until he was scared off by the pet’s owner. After that, he was captured and sedated for medical testing to evaluate his condition.
So far, I haven’t found satisfactory answers to my questions about why he wasn’t previously relocated, moved to a sanctuary, or helped before he reached such a deplorable physical condition. It seems to me as if he was used as a test subject solely for the purpose that his movements and actions could be studied by humans.
Did anyone actually CARE about HIS quality of life?
However, when he was captured, according to the LA Times, the wildlife agencies said in a joint statement that they had “already been in contact with leading institutions for animal care and rehabilitation centers”.
Too little, too late.
In 2016 it was believed that he killed and ate a koala from the LA Zoo,
California mountain lions are a “specially protected species.” Killing a mountain lion without a depredation permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment in the county jail or a fine of up to $10,000.
Officials wept when announcing the decision and shared images of a severe herniation of his abdominal organs. Multiple organs were shutting down and he had a parasitic infection. The poor old guy was in pain and suffering. At that point, there was really no other compassionate solution. Sadly, I agree.
Is there no end to human cruelty, the tendency to exploit other living creatures? How disgusting.
Rest in peace and freedom, you beautiful creature.