Human Exceptionalism

“Brave Mountain Lion Fends Off Group of Hikers”

Can you believe this? A story reports that a mountain lion was courageous for standing up to human hikers! From the story:

EUREKA, CA–A local mountain lion came face-to-face with a group of hikers and made it out alive, sources reported Monday. Wildlife officials are crediting the courageous cougar’s quick thinking, catlike reflexes, and 150 pounds of coiled muscle with successfully fending off the human foot travelers…

Outnumbered four to one, the cougar, fearing for its life, somehow managed to stay calm. It remained perfectly still in a crouched position and stared directly at the hikers, in the hopes that they would simply pass by. The hikers, however, were undeterred. They began shrieking loudly, clapping their hands, and throwing sticks and rocks at the animal in an apparent attempt to injure it…

Armed with nothing more than four-inch claws, razor-sharp teeth, and a 5.4-meter vertical leap, the mountain lion lunged at the adult male hiker. In a defensive measure, it pinned the hiker to the ground, thus disabling the man’s primary means of attack. After a brief struggle, the animal was eventually able to lock onto the hiker’s skull with its jaw.

“Repeated biting of the skull and face is the textbook way to fend off a human attack,” said Mike Kasperski, biologist and author of the book Hikers: Shadows In The Forest.

Yes, it’s The Onion. But good satire always has at least one foot in reality.

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