I wondered why an animal control officer came into the story - name and ruggedly handsome physical description given - if he was never mentioned again? What was the point of that one sentence? To let us know Boulder had hot animal control officers back in the day? I felt that the author was writing this book specifically for the people of Boulder and, with the last few chapters, Idaho Springs. It was almost as if everyone who gave him any information on the subject wound up in the book.
I'm sure that made every person mentioned go out and buy the book and then buy it again for friends and family so perhaps a great way to spike regional sales? I had expected to find the author had been on hand for the entire cougar ordeal because some of the details he put out there are so conjecturey or so unrelated to the story that they could only come from first-hand experience like Cassiopeia above the tree - why would anyone but the author think to remember that and then put it in the book?
Turns out, he lived in Boston at the time this all went down; he wasn't here for any of it. So while it comes across as almost a personal narrative with assistance from everyone else involved, no matter how slightly, it's not. The one thing that went through my mind most often: I was left feeling that while this author is obviously fantastic at the research aspect, he may not have been so good at sifting through information to create a solid, concise story. According to the information at the end, this had been his first endeavor at writing a book.
He was a journalist by trade, so articles and such were his purview. At the same time, I can see how this book would appeal to many readers, especially fans of James Patterson, John Grisham, Lee Child, and such. It's written in that suspenseful, overly informative style.
I would recommend this to readers who are not interested in non-fiction but want a gateway book that will get them more interested in the genre. As a true-crime type book, this would be a perfect crossover. View 2 comments. Apr 08, Claudia Putnam rated it liked it Shelves: journalistic-synthetic-non-fiction , science , nature-writing. Well-written, just not quite as dimensional as something by John Vaillant or as deeply characterized as a work by Timothy Egan Now I live in a similar environment on the Western Slope, so this book pretty much summarizes my adulthood.
Like everyone I have lots of lion tales to tell. Everyone in 3.
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Everyone in it is more or less at least an FOAF. But on that level it couldn't help but be interesting I also really appreciated learning more about Scott Lancaster, who I confess has always been in my consciousness as "that high school kid. I'm sorry about the subtitle, because even though I get it--the ecotone IS really the suburb, and the relevance is the repopulation of the suburban foothills by lions--Boulder itself is not and does not think of itself as a suburb, in that most suburbs are oriented toward a larger urban core, and Boulder really doesn't consider itself as being centered on Denver.
Denver is merely an occasional option, a thing-to-do, for most Boulderites.
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It's another way in which Boulder thinks of itself as being different, another arrogance it has. Boulder is best thought of as an Ann Arbor or a Santa Barbara or Chapel Hill or an Austin or a Madison, only perhaps with a lot more going on than any of those places or so it thinks , that by coincidence also happens to be located close to a major metropolitan area, or perhaps it's Denver that happens to be located near Boulder.
Occasionally a member of a Boulder household may commute to Denver, but Denver is not "the city" in the way that San Francisco, say, is. Just saying, because part of the story is the irony of the way Boulder in particular has embraced its idea of "nature" and how that's in turn brought the beast back to the garden, and that in turn is about how Boulder views itself as different, which is also about how its made itself into an island, which is about how it's kept itself separate from Denver and the suburbs. And yet, these other towns, which are actual suburbs, and some of which are not even in Colorado, and which have NOT done all this to create these little edens, are ALSO getting these deer and lion incursions, so, what's up with that, anyway?
Maybe the argument of the book doesn't even hold up. And that ain't Boulder on the cover. It might be Ned.
I wished he hadn't gone so guy-y for some of the scenes, like every breath and blood spurt during the lion hunt and every possible speculation for Scott Lancaster's last breaths. The Tarantino moments I could have done without. It was interesting to read of how they train hounds to hunt lions.here
The implication is that there's no efffective way to do this humanely--for the dogs, let alone the lions--actually, it seems less humane for the dogs. So, that leads me to wonder if hunting lions is the way to manage them. It sounds like there's no ethical way to do it--if the dogs can't be humanely trained, then hunting should be out of the question.
The books seems to argue that shooting them is the only way to go, though.
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But Wildlife officials seem to be taking other tacks with some success while Baron does not fully explore these. He lists a few but does not examine the levels of success. It would be interesting to know more. Also, I don't remember how often trappers and hunters in other cultures use dogs and what kinds of dogs they use for tigers, etc.
That would be interesting to know. Vaillant would be good to ask. Very few authors can take a real event, announce at the beginning what happens a cougar kills a human near Boulder, Colorado , and then recount a series of events leading up to this "crime" so that the narrative reads better than a compelling crime thriller from an accomplished fiction writer. It was a pleasure to read a book that builds so well and so satisfyingly. Jun 05, Susan Bache Brewer rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in Fabulous book!
A real life murder mystery where the murderer is a mountain lion, the victim is an 18 year old student athlete and the scene of the crime is Boulder, CO suburbs. This book brings into focus wildlife management and the unintended consequences of systemic efforts to remove predators from urban communities. It illustrates the battle of environmentalists - conservationists vs. Apr 19, Shannon rated it it was amazing. An excellent book that is both an analysis and cautionary tale. A "must read" for hunters, suburbanites and environmentalists alike.
Apr 21, Kelley rated it it was amazing. This was such a great book!! The author does a really good job of weaving together the history of the eradication of natural preditors from the west, the settlement and growth of Boulder as the town it is the "special" town it is! If Boulder had not had such a liberal, hands off attitude toward the deer overpopulation in their town due to the lack of natural preditors , there would not have been as many mountain lions coming into contact with humans.
If wildlife departments and managers had not had such a staunch attitude that mountain lions "would never" challenge or hurt humans due to their "shy nature", they might have taken note of some of the first indications that mountain lions were becoming habituated to being around people, and no longer acting as shy and hesitant around them. I thought the author did a very good job of explaining the combination of factors that lead to the fatal interaction, without taking a strong bias and pointing the finger at only one of the groups involved in building the environment needed to bring the human and mountain lion together in such a dangerous situation.
I can't wait to lend this book to my dad and have a good talk about it! Apr 17, Neil Pierson rated it liked it. How much is the distance between 1 the awesome sight of a mountain lion stalking prey; and 2 the horror of being the prey? Not as much as you might think. Nature is Boulder, Colorado's back yard, and that's the way residents want it. Deer flourish and become accustomed to humans. Mountain lions eat deer. So the lions flourish and become accustomed to humans, too.
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A cat in the wild will run and hide from dogs too much like wolves and humans too Boulder's mistake is to believe th How much is the distance between 1 the awesome sight of a mountain lion stalking prey; and 2 the horror of being the prey? Boulder's mistake is to believe that the lions near their town will behave like lions in the wild; but the cats aren't in the wild anymore. Instead, lion sightings in populated areas increase.
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Then house cats disappear, and dogs are attacked. And finally, a high school jogger is attacked and killed. David Baron's book makes this point repetitively, but his accomplishment is to tell the Boulder story in an even-handed, non-sensational way. Not an easy thing to do when a loss of life is involved, there were experts who predicted it would happen, experts who said it could never happen, bureaucracy, and some questionable motives. Aug 21, Dan rated it really liked it. The biggest appeal of the book was the setting. I've been living in the front range for a bit and had spent time in a significant number of the places talked about in the book.