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The beast in the garden : a modern parable of man and nature
Baron, David
Adult Nonfiction QL737.C23 B26524 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 1991, in Idaho Springs, Colo., a small town not far from Boulder, a young jogger was killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion. Although people were horrified, biologist Michael Sanders and naturalist Jim Halfpenny were not surprised. Since 1988 they had been studying the mountain lions that were invading backyards in the Boulder area in increasing numbers and had concluded that, contrary to the accepted wisdom that these lions don't attack people, the big cats were indeed stalking humans in search of a good meal. In an engrossing book that reads like a true crime thriller, Baron, a science and environmental writer, follows the advance of mountain lions around Boulder as if they were serial killers, building tension as he leads up to the killing. There were plenty of warnings. Numerous homeowners saw lions in their yards, dogs were maimed or eaten and a girl was attacked but survived. Sanders and Halfpenny tried to convince the wildlife-loving Boulderites that a tragedy was about to occur, but people believed they could coexist peacefully with the lions, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife was also determined to leave the animals alone. Even after Scott Lancaster, the Idaho Springs jogger, was killed, area residents refused to endorse killing the big cats that moved into their neighborhoods. Baron is not in favor of killing unwanted lions, but in this timely book he warns that as people continue to displace wild animals from their habitats, they have to change the way they interact with them and be more realistic about romantic notions of wilderness. Illus. not seen by PW. Author tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

By the late 1980s, the suburbs of Boulder, CO, had spread so far into previously undeveloped areas that residents began seeing mountain lions cross their backyards and cul-de-sacs. The lions pursued deer whose population had risen thanks to a live-and-let-live attitude by many homeowners. Soon the animals also learned that family dogs were an easy meal, but only after a woman was mauled and a teenager killed in lion attacks did the state of Colorado and the citizens of Boulder-who had disagreed for years on how to handle wildlife in residential areas-agree on the severity of the situation. In his engaging first book, Baron, a science correspondent for National Public Radio, describes the cougar sightings, habits, and encounters that surprised the town. While the historical asides and interviews with attack victims are interesting, it is the philosophical differences between longtime Boulder residents and urban transplants that make this a "modern parable." Appropriate for most public libraries, especially in communities where the urban is increasingly clashing with the wild. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/03.]-Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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