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October 22, 2010

Comments

freelearner

Apparently it's mostly (or only) the female cougars who scream; they scream when they're in heat and are looking for males. Was it spring or early summer when you heard it? I can't remember.

You were mentioning that they're more closely related to house cats than big cats like lions or tigers, and that they can't growl. But that probably means they can sound like alley cats, and I've been completely freaked just by cats fighting outside at night, myself. They do sound human sometimes. So I can only imagine the panther scream... egads.

Kris

It was in May. Yes, I've read that the scream is a female in heat. I don't know if that's the only time one hears a scream. I'm pretty sure I heard some kind of large cat that night, in any case.

John Mitchell

I've been reading some interesting articles about "re-wilding," especially in the prairie states. It's especially interesting to think about how it would be possible to re-introduce large feline, ursine, canine, and maybe mustelid predators back into the ecosystem (easy to be for it when I don't have goats or chickens [or children :)]myself). I was especially intrigued by the work of a scientist (can't remember a name)who has shown that, in Africa, introducing cattle in large semi-wild grazing herds, revitalizes land that used to have huge herds of wild animals (long vanished except in reserves like The Serengeti): it drastically reduces the dust, the erosion, the soil nutrient depletion, the overgrowth of "junk" underbrush, etc. It also brings in whole hosts of birds, insects, and small animals who benefit from the cattle's activities AND it provides sustainable jobs, milk, food, leather, etc. for local peoples! Wouldn't you love to see the Prairie states in America stripped of their wall to wall corn and soybeans, waving in thousands of species of prairie grasses and perennials and dotted with great herds of bison, heirloom cattle, pronghorns, and other ruminants!

Kris

Yes I would love to see the prairie states go back to some semblance of natural flora and fauna. What you say about introducing cattle in Africa--that's interesting because I've read that properly raised beef cattle need not contribute to greenhouse gases, either. It strikes me that we could do a lot here in the US with grazing. It would be especially helpful in reversing nutrient depletion, i should think.

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