Ok, people, I'm sure you've all been waiting for me to weigh in on the whole Chicago Cougar Controversy. Due to my lousy attitude (thanks to our ungodly cold weather), I really haven't been posting as I should.
So here it is in a nutshell: There was NO REASON to shoot that magnificent animal!
A cougar ran loose in Chicago on Monday for the first time since the city's founding in the 19th Century.
Hey, what's that? Something rare and unusual? Let's shoot it! See Also: Why There are no Unicorns
But by day's end, the animal lay dead in a back alley on the North Side, shot by police who said they feared it was turning to attack.
The same police department that has been videotaped beating female bartenders senseless and slugging a man confined to a wheelchair...? Oh, yes, that feisty feline was a huge threat, cowering cornered in that alley and all...
Whatever its origin, the 5-foot-long cougar's unlikely journey ended in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, where residents reported sightings throughout the day to the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control.
Plenty of time to get trained zookeepers and a tranquilizer gun! Wonder how many of those reports were hung up on, dismissed as delusional residents?
Greene said he heard a volley of gunfire...
Not one shot. Not two shots. Not three. Neighbors reported hearing between ten and twenty four shots! At what point does 'for the public safety' become 'extremely unsafe to the public'? This is the same police force contemplating assault weapons for their officers!!! So they won't be out gunned by gangs - and circus animals?
As the shots stopped, Greene heard the police yelling, "We got him! We got him!"
This cat travelled without incident from at least Wisconsin, only to be slaughtered in the big city. What do we need to do now? Have cougars declared endangered in Illinois, making it illegal to kill, harass, or harm one. Why? In life - or - death situations (this has not been proven one) officials could kill such an animal. But the average resident could not. Without a protected status, I could shoot one for fun and not be arrested for poaching, as there is no conservation prohibition or hunting season established for this animal.
Of course, your next question is: Do you have an alibi for April 24th?
In his first public comments about a letter sent to his office from someone who may have tried to torch his Michigan vacation house, Mayor Richard Daley described the correspondence as "personal" and "very, very vicious."
Investigators, including the FBI, are looking into whether there is a connection between the fire and letters threatening Daley, possibly because Chicago police shot a cougar on the North Side on April 14.
No, I did not write the letters, nor do I condone threatening tactics such as those being investigated. And, yes, I have an alibi for the 24th (I'm hooked on 30 Rock). But I must admit I was more than a few people's 'first suspect' due to my outspoken criticism of the handling of this case.
Rest in Peace
Male Cougar, circa 2005 - April 14, 2008