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a time for fear
 
Monday, May 19, 2003  
Keeping Pumas and Pets Apart

Pumas prowl through the suburbs of LA, feasting on trash, household pets and Californian kids. Like bears, coyotes and foxes, pumas (aka Mountain Lions aka Cougars) have found (sub)urban living relatively favourable, and have themselves proven highly adaptable to its demands and degradations. I seem stuck on this great vision of wildlife flocking into the city in one large clandestine migration, a silent swarm... and a dream image of pumas roaming the streets of LA alongside packs of coyotes, picking off pampered cats, brats, actresses, bloods and crips, has this kind of murderous, apocalyptic potency, like a deadly mirage brought on by torrid, dry West Coast heat. Actually, the pumas haven't even left their natural habitat: the city invaded it. The pumas' territories were engulfed by urban sprawl, but rather than retreat, they acclimatised. As Beverly Hills, Studio City, Tarzana, Chatsworth, etc, spread up the Californian foothills, they shifted their habits to accomodate new food sources, new layers and pockets of carrion and prey. And it fits: LA as barbarous, brutal, (un)natural park, Rangers patrolling in vans, cars, and choppers, tooled up to take on the most savage natives with their uzis, AK-47s, Mac-10s...LA as a strip of lethal wilderness striated by freeways and tectonic faultlines...the city in meltdown, a desert war...

10:56 PM

 
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