On the job perks and wild encounters

Some people take coffee breaks, others take smoke breaks, while here at The Field Museum, we take 'dead cougar gawking' breaks. That's right, we have the carcass for the now semi-controversial North Side Cougar. For those of you not from the area, people have been debating the actions of the Chicago police officers who shot the animal when responding to an emergency call about its presence in a North Side neighborhood.
I'll just say one thing about this whole matter and leave it at that: even partially skinned on a lab table, that thing was massive. I can definitely see how anyone encountering it unawares in a city alley would be terrified (including cops who, despite being very well trained, just aren't trained to deal with large predators in back alleys). This animal was by a school, and far, far, far away from it's natural habitat, and therefore unpredictable. I would have preferred to have had animal control tranquilize and remove the animal, but sadly they weren't on hand at the time of need. Hindsight may be 20/20, but those officers do have a duty to do what they feel is in the best interests of the safety of the citizens of this city. Come to your own conclusions.

1 comment:

T.C. O'Rourke said...

It went unreported, but the cougar had a small caliber pistol with the serial number filed off...

Pretty cool to be able to look at a 150 lb cat!