This letter is in response to your article “Five Bighorn Sheep Dead”, by Randy Metcalf, on Jan. 15.
It appalls me that mountain lions are being killed for what they are naturally supposed to do. Cats are natural predators, their prey varies depending on their size. Just like our house cats prey on mice and rats, so to do mountain lions prey on deer, sheep, livestock and sometimes people (although the latter is rare).
Now, granted this was a “nice” idea, but an ill planned out and conceived one. Great, let’s reintroduce bighorn Sheep back into the Catalina’s. But, did anyone stop to consider why there were no bighorn sheep in the Catalina’s anymore? Were there any studies done on this line of questioning? Did anyone even think to look into the predator aspect of this reintroduction?
So, now the Center of Biological Diversity, has just reintroduced 35 bighorn sheep into an area where there is a large number of natural predators (mountain lions) present. Can anyone say, “Time for dinner”? Of course the mountain lions are going to go after the big horn sheep . This is their natural food source, found in their hunting territory. So the solution is to kill the offending mountain lions? What’s next , perhaps coyotes? Yes, big horn sheep are a food source for them also.
There is a reason a species dies out in a certain area, or no longer exists in said area. Food, water, breeding areas, or perhaps a large number of natural predators, can all be factors. Diversity of life is what makes our natural areas what they are, but the balance is not always going to be perfect like in the movie “The Lion King”.
Just my opinion.