Lately, some of you may have felt alarmed by the sightings of mountain lions within the Red Bluff city limits. First of all, we would like to assure you that we are smarter than any of you, and while your own redneck proclivities might prompt you to "go fer yer gun," we would like you to restrain these primitive survival skills and trust us to think for you. In the way of hunting varmints and helpless beasts, you may feel yourselves to be superior, but we who make the declaration that you are safe are important people who sit behind desks and make all manner of decisions. We have degrees hanging on our walls, not hunting trophies, and we wear nice suits, so we are the more knowledgeable party with regard to mountain lions.
Hopefully, with the impending removal of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, we have engendered your trust with our superior wisdom of salmon, and now we would like to show you how we can handle game. You can count on us to act, or in this case, not act, in your best interest. That said, we are providing you with these educational tips for peaceful cohabitation with mountain lions.
A mere mountain lion sighting is not a threat. You wouldn't be alarmed if you merely saw a pit bull in your yard, or merely saw a black widow spider next to your bed, or merely saw a man with a gun walk into your bank. The important thing is to not panic. Just because an animal has a natural instinct to kill does not mean that it will kill you. It has many targets to choose from, and you shouldn't be so self-important as to believe that you are such a tempting dish. Get a grip!
Mountain lions feed on animals and bury the carcass, and return for days to finish the remains. Therefore, we tell you to exercise caution, even while we assure you that there is no cause for alarm. How does this carcass information connect with the caution you should take? It really doesn't; we just need to have a second point on this list. Studies show that people will not take the time to read a full list, and we assume that this is especially true of those with hillbilly tendencies.
It is more likely you would be bitten by a rattlesnake than a mountain lion because duh! mountain lions don't bite, they leap onto the backs of their unsuspecting prey and tear meat from the back of their neck or shoulder, and, as previously discussed, when satisfied, they bury the meat and feed on it for days. This point should make you feel much safer.
Mountain lions are just giant cats, and this one is not a very hungry cat. It is eating something, but until the city can prove what or who it is eating, residents are perfectly safe.
Mountain lions are more likely to target lone prey; therefore, we suggest you move about in herds with your friends.
Please know that while you may worry that this cat might eat your precious child or pet, we at the Dept. of Fish, Fun and Games are worried that we will be sued while trying to prevent injuries and deaths from happening, not that injuries and deaths really could happen. So, while we wait and hope that the cat will be content to feed on the stray animal population that roams the area, we ask that you call your local law enforcement if you should happen to see the mountain lion. The hands of your local police department are tied, as this species is protected, but you may find helpful information on our website that might make you feel better.
In the meantime, we suggest you put away the notion that a trap or a single bullet can solve this issue. It is much better to have a pound of cure. A better and more peaceful solution is for your county to spend its tax dollars on developing an educational program to find more ways to live at peace with your new visitor.
When we look at the financial woes of California schools, we must not overlook the very creative solution that is now lurking in your very own schoolyard. Let's face it, field trips are costly, but imagine the thrill of sending children out to recess and having their mundane play place magically turned into a safari, complete with a lion to hunt them down! Students will feel the intense exhilaration of that good old fight-or-flight adrenaline rush, all while learning about the animal kingdom and the captivating sequence of who eats whom on the food chain. Later, the faster runners in the class can hold a discussion that focuses on ethical questions about survival of the fittest and those less fortunate slow runners. Such talks will be sure to breathe new life into your district's physical education programs. Enclosed with this letter, you will find helpful sample pamphlets that can be used as a springboard for even more exciting ways to help welcome your new friend.