I was much saddened, last week, to read of the death of "P-32"--the puma who, despite all odds, managed to live out a part of his secretive life in neighboring Griffith Park. It was somehow a comfort to know he was there, the last big-animal holdout in the wild, in the middle of this busy city.
Increasingly, we humans encroach on the natural habitat of wild animals, leaving them nowhere to go, other than venturing, dangerously, into the territory we have taken by eminent human domain. Such is our arrogant assumption of superior rights to this planet.
We spotted a coyote in broad daylight last week in Laguna Beach. He was making his way across Thalia--the busiest thoroughfare in our neighborhood--at great risk to both himself and any small pet in the area. Our vet tells us they are becoming a huge problem in town. And Philip, our neighbor two doors down the hill, told us a horror story of a coyote leaping the fence into his back yard--again, in broad daylight--and attempting an attack on his dog.
I carry a flashlight with me when I take George out for his last pee-and-poop walk at night; and watch carefully for the predators early each morning. I love these wild creatures. I'm particularly drawn to the coyote, identified as my totem animal in a trance experience many years ago. So I'm saddened by the enmity that has developed between humans and urban coyotes in recent years--through no fault of the coyote. It's we humans, after all, who encroach.
P-32 was killed by a car while attempting to cross the I-5 freeway. What a terrible end to a wild and beautiful life.