Either Rep. Betty Olson is losing the justification for her chronic mountain lion hysteria... or we've chased the mountain lions out of the Black Hills toward Betty's Prairie City bunker. Game Fish and Parks reports we're well behind last year's pace in killing mountain lions. Last year, we hit the 70-lion quota a month before the end of the season. This year, with 100 lions up for grabs and the season ending March 31, GF&P says we've taken only 49, including 29 females. No one has bagged a lion since March 6.
For one, carnivore populations worldwide are dwindling—the African lion is listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is endangered in certain West African countries.
...Handling wild-carnivore carcasses can also be dangerous, Hunter said. Since the predators end up eating so many different animals, they accumulate parasites and diseases. In 2007, for instance, a biologist in Arizona contracted primary pneumatic plague after dissecting a cougar carcass and died shortly after [Christine Dell'Amore, "Proposed Lion-Meat Ban Shines Light on Wild-Animal Meat," National Geographic Daily News, 2013.03.12].
Pass the venison, please!