Wildlife advocate warns Texas mountain lions mean no harm
Wildlife advocate, John Jefferson, wants Texans to know how to handle a mountain lion without fear.
VICTORIA, Texas – Recently, a press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department came out in December 2020, sparking a lot of fascination and craze around Texas mountain lions. Alarming Texas to think twice before going camping, entering any forest or wood-like area, and even driving on the road.
John Jefferson, who is a wildlife photographer and writer, said he doesn’t have a degree in biology or wildlife studies, but he has been an outdoorsy guy, ever since he was young. Particularly, enjoying to hunt and fish.
“I’ve been in the outdoors all my life, I’ve been hunting since I was about 8 or 9, and I got to know a lot of the Wildlife biologists. And hung out with them, and I actually learned a lot from them, and they’ve all taught me everything I know. And I later became the Executive Director of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society,” he said.
Jefferson has been so interested in wildlife animals that he even attended a mountain lions conference in 2010, in Del Rio, which included many experts in the Southwest – who have studied these animals for many years. Many claim that Texas is one of the largest wildlife habitats in the U.S., John Jefferson even admitted that these Texas mountain lions are more common than we think.
“Yes, Parks & Wildlife sponsored that and they brought in experts from all over the Southwest that have vast experience with mountain lions and it was really an eye-opening conference for me,” Jefferson explained.
The main message Jefferson wants to get across is the necessity of all Texas knowing how to handle the situation, if they ever come across a mountain lion, especially because this can be a very scary encounter.
“They need to know that there are mountain lions, but that they’re not really much of a danger. Now in California, lions have attacked joggers. That hadn’t happened in Texas. We’ve got so many deer, they don’t go hungry for very long. So there’s no need for them to attack humans and humans need to know that all they need to do is wave their hands and yell and maybe throw rocks. I hate to think of somebody seeing a lion and panicking and pulling a gun and shooting them,” he warned.
Mountain lions are hardly ever seen in areas where there’s human development and often confused for coyotes or bobcats. Wildlife advocates like Jefferson and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department want people to understand that these lions mean no harm, if ever spotted.
“It’s not against the law to shoot them, there’s just no need to and to me their just such a beautiful creature. I still live to see one in the wild and get a good picture of him,” Jefferson said.
Parts of this video have been accredited to Mountain Lions of Texas – Tips from a Wildlife Biologist – YouTube
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