marxism-digest V1 #5152

Juan Rafael Fajardo fajardos at
Thu Nov 14 20:32:20 MST 2002

> marxism-digest Thursday, November 14 2002 Volume 01 : Number 5152

 > [...]

>Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 13:29:55 -0500
>From: Hunter Gray <hunterbadbear at>
>Subject: Re: Bobcats? Lions?
> [...]  Pantera, of course, is Mexico and southward. [...]

> The jaguar -- tigre -- is mostly south of the border [...]

In South America mountain lions are called pumas, a Quechua word from
the Andes, where, while not plentiful, they are at least holding their
own so far.   Pantera is term pretty much reserved for black big cats,
be they melanesic pumas, leopards, or jaguars.

The jaguar is also called jaguar --spelled the same, but with the "j"
pronounced as a hard English "h"-- but, from what I have experienced and
read, most people who actually live within its range (the jungled
portios of the continent) call it "tigre".  In Peru and surrounding
regions it is also called by the native word otorongo, which I think
comes from the Shipibo language.

Out here in California we have also had a resurgence of the mountain
lion population.  It is not uncommon now to know someone who has either
seen on or found spoor while hiking, even quite near urban areas.  In
fact, most parklands now have signs warning of the possible presence of
mountain lions and advising what to do if one is encountered (keep your
distance, if approached by the lion yell and try to look big and scary
--never take your eyes off it, and never crouch or run-- and fight back
if attacked.)

It hasn't yet become a big issue, despite the media's periodic attempts
to drum up excitement and hype, usually after a person gets attacked
(often in another state).  By and large, in this highly enviromentally
conscious state most people are willing to accept the presence of the
lions and the risks inherent in that as the price of living in the state
and expanding housing development into rural and sub-urban areas -- so far.

In fact, there is a growing but quiet push to rescind the ban on
mountain lion hunting, although few are pushing for more than a short,
expensive permit-only season.  Some of these are trophy and sport
hunters, others are ranchers concerned about livestock, some worry about
  having too many lions too close to people, but a portion that is
slowly getting a hearing advocates limited hunting in order to protect
the species.  Their argument is that the current generations of lions
have grown up without hunting and thus have never developed a reason to
fear humans, thus they are not only not afraid to approach humans and
human dwellings, but increasingly often seem to have come to regard
humans as just another large animal and thus a potential food source,
going so far as to stalk and attack them.  Limited hunting would
reintroduce the fear of humans into the population, thus decreasing
their interactions, which would lessen the number of encounters in which
humans and their pets are injured and thus forestall possible eventual
pressure for an outright open season on the cats in the interest of
"public safety."

- Juan Fajardo

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