Lions and Elephants back in Kansas?


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carebear
August 17, 2005, 01:50 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8983461/

I'd back this in a minute as long as it didn't involve active government coercion.

What a rush to roam in an area where you aren't automatically the top of the food chain.

I love the last paragraph.

"Obviously, gaining public acceptance is going to be a huge issue, especially when you talk about reintroducing predators," Donlan said. "There are going to have to be some major attitude shifts. That includes realizing predation is a natural role, and that people are going to have to take precautions."

Dang skippy! Finally a real, honest to G-d REASON to pack heavy hardware on a "simple camping trip".

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Preacherman
August 17, 2005, 02:10 PM
I'd rather put the lions in a few crime-ridden inner-city areas I know... :evil:

El Tejon
August 17, 2005, 02:12 PM
Exactly, Preacherman. If only we could "Jurassic Park" the short-face bear or the saber-tooth tiger or the cave bear and giant sloth. I would love to unleash them on D.C. or New York City! :D

We could save the planet AND renew our freedoms!

carebear
August 17, 2005, 02:13 PM
Lions wouldn't stand a chance in the inner city.. You think a sub-culture that kills people to steal their shoes and jackets is gonna let something with a big ol' mane walk around unmolested?

The poor thing would be up on blocks and naked in seconds. :evil:

El Tejon
August 17, 2005, 02:15 PM
Meow?

I think this just shows how the East Coast "environmental" movement thinks of us. The "Great Plains" is just one vast desert of wilderness where one can dump a lion and not worry about human life or another's property.

Notice how they always make proposals for OTHERS but not themselves or where they live. :rolleyes:

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 02:25 PM
Elk eat willows, which beavers rely on, and so beaver populations in Colorado declined by up to 90 percent, the authors state. Fewer beavers meant fewer dams, and the reduced wetlands caused willow populations to decline 60 percent in some areas.


Right -- that's why there are beaver dams on every stream in the area where I hunt elk. ;)

As for
"That includes realizing predation is a natural role, and that people are going to have to take precautions."

I hope they realize that my precautions ride in a leather holster!

On second thought, let's create the first of these environmental parks in California. Let the legislature explain to people that the lions won't eat you if you take "precautions" -- but don't carry one of those nasty 'ol guns. :p

carebear
August 17, 2005, 02:32 PM
In their defense, they did say "private property" and "abandoned farmland" more than a few times.

And, really, cougars, wolves, bears, bison, horses, antelope and deerses roam freely even now, if in varying numbers. As long as populations are managed to not exceed the grazing (especially the elephants) as the sport hunters in Africa used to be used and you are allowed, as now, to defend life and property from the predators, where's the downside?

(he says from thousands of miles away :D )

(where he does however live amidst megafauna and predators in his own backyard and in-city recreation sights)

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 02:39 PM
In their defense, they did say "private property" and "abandoned farmland" more than a few times.

And, really, cougars, wolves, bears, bison, horses, antelope and deerses roam freely even now, if in varying numbers. As long as populations are managed to not exceed the grazing (especially the elephants) as the sport hunters in Africa used to be used and you are allowed, as now, to defend life and property from the predators, where's the downside?


There's a fellow near Quitman, Arkansas, (not far from where I live) who has a big cat sanctuary. He keeps them caged, though.

A year or so ago, someone came by trying to unload five full-grown African lions. The man didn't have any empty cages, so he turned them away. A few miles down the road, they apparently opened the tailgate and let them out, then drove off. :what:

Until the Sheriff's posse located and shot them all, there weren't many toddlers playing outside around Quitman, I can tell you.

00-Guy
August 17, 2005, 02:39 PM
El Tejon writes:

Exactly, Preacherman. If only we could "Jurassic Park" the short-face bear or the saber-tooth tiger or the cave bear and giant sloth. I would love to unleash them on D.C. or New York City!

Alas ET, the Giant Sloth is unleased in DC, ....... the US Congress. <insert rimshot here>

paul....
In a very red county stuck in a blue state!

Standing Wolf
August 17, 2005, 03:49 PM
Frankly, I think it would make far more sense to raze about half of New Jersey and put the critters there.

You'll note I've abstained from relieving myself of any snide remarks about the members of Homo sapiens who reside in New Jersey.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 03:53 PM
Frankly, I think it would make far more sense to raze about half of New Jersey and put the critters there.


Ya wanna get charged with cruelty to animals? :D

Elkslayer
August 17, 2005, 04:04 PM
"And, really, cougars, wolves, bears, bison, horses, antelope and deerses roam freely even now, if in varying numbers."

Just to set the record straight, horses are not indigenous to the USA.

Horses are feral animals just like wild feral pigs, cats or dogs. Wild horses enjoy strong support and liking by most Americans, they do compete with and displace native game species.

Werewolf
August 17, 2005, 04:14 PM
Kansas winters can be really harsh. Lions and Elephants both roam tropical environs be they forested or grasslands. Could either of the aforementioned creatures survive a Kansas winter without the aid of man?

carebear
August 17, 2005, 04:15 PM
Weren't there wild horses (or horse contemporaries) here prior to the Pliestocene extinctions?

That's the species range they are talking about reintroducing.

At any rate, my point was reintroducing (used to be) native megafauna (or their closest analogues) is merely a change in kind, not in practice.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 04:21 PM
Kansas winters can be really harsh. Lions and Elephants both roam tropical environs be they forested or grasslands. Could either of the aforementioned creatures survive a Kansas winter without the aid of man?


Hannibal crossed the Alps with African elephants, and Claudius used African elephants in his conquest of Britain. Lions were once found all over Europe when it was colder than it is today.

But I'd put 'em in California, first -- lots of good liberals for the lions to eat and the elephants to stomp. :p

carebear
August 17, 2005, 04:25 PM
Acclimation Vern? :evil:

Also, if they lose a little fear of man by devouring quivering unarmed libs then it'll make it more exciting later on.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 04:30 PM
Acclimation Vern?

Also, if they lose a little fear of man by devouring quivering unarmed libs then it'll make it more exciting later on.

Two very good reasons for starting them in California. Once they're acclimated, we can stock more reserves in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and so on. :p

Colt46
August 17, 2005, 04:33 PM
Imagine being forced to protect myself from rampaging elephants with an Atlatl! That would be quite the kick in the pants.

carebear
August 17, 2005, 04:37 PM
What are those spiney plants Lawdog talks about? Could you make a boma out of them?

Andrew Rothman
August 17, 2005, 04:37 PM
They want to reintroduce African lions and African or Indian elephants to North America?

That's about as logical as gun "buybacks." You can't buy back what you never owned, and you can't reintroduce something that was never there.

This is the closest they come:

Cheetahs, woolly mammoths and relatives of the camel were just a few of the large mammals that roamed America during the Pleistocene era, which ended 10,000 years ago as the last Ice Age retreated. Studies have shown that their demise was due largely to hunting by humans, not from climate change, as one theory held.

First, I am dubious of the theory-stated-as-fact under the guise of "Studies have shown...."

Anyway, 10,000 years ago, humans were, ecologically speaking, just another kind of animal. I mean, it's not like it was pollution or machine guns or overdevelopment of natural habitat that did in the poor beasties.

If they ate up or just killed all of those species, well, that's called "succession," and it's...well...natural.

The story does not make it clear at all whether these "parks" would be open or enclosed.

newfalguy101
August 17, 2005, 04:48 PM
Sounds an awful lot like junk science to me.

The elk eating the willows was responsible for the drastic decline in beaver numbers????

And I dont suppose the rabid over trapping of said animal had anything to do with them going way?? I also didnt realize that willow trees DEPENDED on beaver dams to survive :rolleyes:

And who, do you suppose, is going to PAY to feed and care for these critters??

all in all a bad day looking to happen :rolleyes:

just my opinion of course

carebear
August 17, 2005, 04:49 PM
Matt,

We're reintroducing wolves from the West to replace the massacred red wolves right? Coyotes are growing larger in New England and beginning to act in packs to fill the niche left by those same wolves. Mountain bison being transplanted to the plains to replace the plains herds?

This kind of species transfer is hardly uncommon. (elephants/mammoths are another story of course)

The differences in genetically between African lions and the lions of Europe and Southwest Asia were mostly aesthetic. Camels are camels. So it is hardly a huge jump to figure America's megafauna would today more or less resemble Africa's if they had survived. And I think the point is a massive recreation of an idea, a world of big cool animals to perhaps be killed by. i'm not going to quibble with an extra toe. ;)

If they can get enough contiguous open land together and can figure out how to manage populations there's no reason to do much fencing. Natural (and hunter enforced) aversion should keep the animals away from people and their crops.

I don't know. It's a dream big, cool idea kind of project that I could get behind. Leave it to the egg heads to make it work. I just want to be Capstick without the malaria.

carebear
August 17, 2005, 04:51 PM
newfalguy,

Who "cares and feeds" for the animals on the Serengeti.

They aren't talking about a zoo. Animals will eat what they eat in the wild, get sick and die just like mother nature intended.

Think BIGGER.

newfalguy101
August 17, 2005, 04:59 PM
Carebear

The AFRICAN GOV pays to care for those critters with monies they get from hunters.

Also, last I heard there wasnt snow covering the ground in Africa for a part of the year, so what do they eat then?? Or do you suggest that they just "tuff it out" till spring??

I get the immpression that they are NOT talking about huntable numbers in the article.

I also get the distinct immpression from the article that the people looking to do this are at the LEAST against hunting if not out-right anti-hunting.


And if you think that there is anything that will keep Sambo out of a wheat field or a cornfield, methinks you are dead wrong.

Andrew Rothman
August 17, 2005, 05:00 PM
If they can get enough contiguous open land together and can figure out how to manage populations there's no reason to do much fencing. Natural (and hunter enforced) aversion should keep the animals away from people and their crops.

:rolleyes: Sure, that's workin' real well for the mountain lions.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 05:15 PM
Predators need a lot of land. Big predators need a HECK of a lot. Figure the natural range of a pride of African lions. Now find a contiguous parcel of land that big, with no roads running through it, and no towns, farms, or homes.

There is no such place.

carebear
August 17, 2005, 05:15 PM
It is in the areas where you can carry guns and kill the mountain lions (or bears) as needed.

Again, if Sambo raids a farm, drop him and give the meat to the hungry.

I guess it may be impracticable, but it would definitely be exciting. And if guys are willing to pony up, what, $50K to shoot a lion on a once in a lifetime trip overseas, I think whatever maintenance is required could be made sustainable.

As far as climate goes, there's no real reason to think it'd fall on its face. after all, the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play in those same conditions. I wouldn't bring over an eland or an oryx, but we don't need em anyway. It's mostly the apex predators we lack. Elephants aren't mammoths in any way so that's probably a pipedream, but leopards and tigers live today in snowy regions. No reason lions and such can't adapt back to the climate. They were still in Europe only a few thousand years ago.

carebear
August 17, 2005, 05:18 PM
I don't know that they need absolute wilderness as opposed to low density of humans. And, again, I'm from a state where most of it (area wise) would be suitable for the concept, but we still have most of our apex predators left.

Again, I'm just taken by the idea of lions. I understand reality makes it impracticable.

Think of it though. Lions!

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 05:29 PM
I don't know that they need absolute wilderness as opposed to low density of humans.

The question is not what they need, but what Mama will do when she looks out the kitchen window and sees little Susie being carried off in the jaws of a lion.

For safety, we'd have to fence the lion preserve in. If the lions are to roam free, there's no area big enough that there won't be some humans INSIDE the fence.

Which is why I suggest California. :p

newfalguy101
August 17, 2005, 05:36 PM
Carebear

I agree that there is a defenite appeal to seeing and or hunting lion.

As long as you realize its impractability, dream away and enjoy that once in a lifetime hunt

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 05:39 PM
I agree that there is a defenite appeal to seeing and or hunting lion.

As long as you realize its impractability, dream away and enjoy that once in a lifetime hunt


Let's not be hasty here. Suppose we convince the Californians that the Bush administration is dead set against it, and if it happens NASCAR will have to close all their race tracks? :p

carebear
August 17, 2005, 06:03 PM
Vern,

Little Susie shoulda armed herself. :p

Why don't we fence in the people, let the lions roam free?

At a certain point that falls back on realizing the risks and taking reasonable precautions. We don't think it odd to watch little Susie near the pool or put up a fence and keep an eye on her to keep her out of the street.

Wonder if the Indians on the reservations would buy into it? There's millions of acres of sparse population right there.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 06:27 PM
Why don't we fence in the people, let the lions roam free?

Why don't we just fence off California and turn the lions loose? :D

At a certain point that falls back on realizing the risks and taking reasonable precautions. We don't think it odd to watch little Susie near the pool or put up a fence and keep an eye on her to keep her out of the street.

Well, swimming pools don't roam over literally thousands of square miles and hunt little children down.

Wonder if the Indians on the reservations would buy into it? There's millions of acres of sparse population right there.


There's probably more lions in the world right now than Indians -- which is why I keep coming back to California. We got lots of Californicators. ;)

happy old sailor
August 17, 2005, 07:05 PM
the western cattle ranchers are gonna love this. why do i suspect boondoggle? there are millions to be made here by ppl that couldn't care less about critters, or ranchers, or me. smell the fishoil

jeff-10
August 17, 2005, 07:30 PM
If they did do something like that on a large scale it would be a boon to gun companies. People here buy big game rifles even if they don't hunt. You would think it would be easier and safer to let Siberian tigers loose in Alaska then letting lions roam Kansas.

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 07:41 PM
If they did do something like that on a large scale it would be a boon to gun companies. People here buy big game rifles even if they don't hunt. You would think it would be easier and safer to let Siberian tigers loose in Alaska then letting lions roam Kansas.

And the National Nannies would be agitating for laws to allow cops to ticket you for NOT having a loaded rifle in your car. :D

woerm
August 17, 2005, 08:00 PM
note:

Horses developed in the Americas, they spread probably over the land bridge or while the contients were in Pangea mode or Gonwaldlaand motif.

the critters were about the size of dobermans for most of their even/odd toe developement from the fossil record. When the odd toe (single hoof) came to the main they (horses) got a lot bigger. Modern horses and most ponies are decendants of mongolian critters about the size of a shetland.

Modern American Mustangs are decendants of escaped Spanish horses that reverted to their usual state of herding.

so... just fyi the Paelo Americans did not ride horses they hunted and ate them (cringes). their 'beast of burden' was an overworked hounddog (so that's where working like a dog comes from?). Plains Indians in the 15th century etc saw the Spanish riding horses and picked up the trick.

r

Preacherman
August 17, 2005, 08:25 PM
For those who like this idea, see here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/18/wlion18.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/08/18/ixworld.html) - lions are eating more and more people in Tanzania. You, too, might be on the menu! :D

MICHAEL T
August 17, 2005, 09:12 PM
Great idea lets make a park about a mile wide that runs our entire southern border. And go heavy on the lions :D

Now I have a question what gr. bullet in my trusty old 30/30 would be good for elephants

Vern Humphrey
August 17, 2005, 09:16 PM
Great idea lets make a park about a mile wide that runs our entire southern border. And go heavy on the lions

You may have solved a problem -- Kansas may be too cold in the winter for lions and elephants, but northern Mexico is not. Why not make all the Mexican states bordering the US into one vast ecological par?

Now I have a question what gr. bullet in my trusty old 30/30 would be good for elephants


You're going to make an elephant very mad at you. ;)

Justin
August 17, 2005, 09:21 PM
You know, I would think that the threat of being eaten at any time by a predator would tend to put things into perspective.

I'd probably be much less likely to sweat the small stuff if there's a chance of encountering a lion on my way to get a 64 oz. Slurpy at 7/11.

Bruce H
August 17, 2005, 09:43 PM
I think we could do far more for the environment by trimming this idiot from his family tree.

Zundfolge
August 17, 2005, 10:01 PM
I'm both a Leo and a Republican ... you won't see my hiney back in Kansas for anything other then short visits :neener:

NMshooter
August 17, 2005, 11:08 PM
Looks to me like carebear wants to go on safari without the expense of traveling to Africa... ;)

Perhaps if the cougars in California grow larger we would not have to import big cats from another continent. :evil:

Byron Quick
August 17, 2005, 11:38 PM
Yep. People are dropping like flies to mountain lions,


Horses are indigenous to North America. As are camels, mammoths, mastodons, lions, a cheetah analog.

The claim that man was just another animal at the time of the last mass extinction is not true. I am aware of no animal that uses spears and atlatls in hunting. I also am not aware of any animal which uses fire to drive herds off of cliffs. Maybe I'm ignorant of the truth.

The Romans captured lions for their games until they were extinct but the lion was also indigenous to Europe. I don't know what the northern limits were. Africa was not the limits of the range they inhabited, not by a long chalk.

jefnvk
August 17, 2005, 11:45 PM
Hmmm...

If I could hunt Elephant in Nebraska, I may just have a use for that .458. Or .50 :D

carebear
August 17, 2005, 11:54 PM
I thought it might catch on for the guys whos backyards it ain't. ;)

I'm all for the Siberian Tiger option too.

Byron Quick
August 18, 2005, 03:03 AM
I can hunt them just as good in my backyard. In fact, it would be convenient.

Andrew Rothman
August 18, 2005, 11:34 AM
The claim that man was just another animal at the time of the last mass extinction is not true. I am aware of no animal that uses spears and atlatls in hunting. I also am not aware of any animal which uses fire to drive herds off of cliffs. Maybe I'm ignorant of the truth.

There's no need to get snippy. Other animals use tools and coordinate their efforts to a common end.

My point was simply that the rise of one species often results in the fall of another. That's nature for ya.

We'd have to conclude that our prehistoric ancestors made a big boo-boo when they drove these big, dangerous animals to extinction (if indeed that is what happened, which I still doubt).

The reality is that our population, our geographic dispersal and our intolerance for having the odd village child dragged away and eaten pretty much ensure that such an eco-utopic plan will never come to fruition.

Werewolf
August 18, 2005, 11:36 AM
we still have most of our apex predators leftWhat exactly is an apex predator? Inquiring minds want to know.You know, I would think that the threat of being eaten at any time by a predator would tend to put things into perspective.Might even positively impact gun sales too... :D

El Tejon
August 18, 2005, 11:40 AM
Giant sloths already in D.C.? *kicks rocks* Should have thought of that one! :D

If we are going to re-seed critters, how about that giant carnivorous ostrich like thing with the axe beak that roamed South America? We could reduce urban sprawl and traffic with those things around. :D

carebear
August 18, 2005, 11:51 AM
It's a biology term.

Apex predators are the top of the food chain killers in their ranges. They tend to be the ones mankind destroys out of hand because they are the only real direct threat to us AND they compete with us for (before) major game animals and (now) our domesticated livestock.

Grizzly/polar bears, wolves, great white sharks, tigers, lions, orcas that sort of thing. One thing biologists note is that destruction of the apex predators, which is dang near worldwide, send weird ripples down the chain. It causes or seriously influences things like the change in size and behavior of coyotes in New England and over-population of whitetail deer.

By our behaviour mankind has shown ourselves to be the ultimate apex predator due to our advantages over the rest of the animal world (weapons, numbers, adaptibility and organization).

Morally, by taking the number one spot and then nowadays choosing to not hunt we are abrogating our natural duties. Take that science and choke on it PETA.

Justin
August 18, 2005, 01:17 PM
[moderator hat on]

Interesting thread, however it's not really gun-related.

This would make for good discussion over at APS\ (http://www.armedpolitesociety.com/viewforum.php?id=1)

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