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August 31, 2006

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GreenmanTim

PA, thanks for the comment- I'm curious to what you attribute that acceptance of gator attacks you observe in Florida? That built/wildland interface sure does blur when it comes to predator populations expanding to settled areas, like Florida's gators or Berlin's wolves, and also of human populations expanding into existing habitat of wide rangng carnivores, like western mountain lion. But in Florida's case, the human population is increasing along with the predator expansion. Are a few gator attacks, or the rare but well publicized shark attacks on your beaches, brushed off as the price of admission, or is there something else keeping folks from clamoring for a clampdown on the carnivores?

Purple Avenger

The general wisdom of allowing large carnivores near population centers aside, here in Florida we seem to lose people on a somewhat regular basis to the gators. Usually its due to ordinary stupidity (as most large predator attacks ultimately are), but the populace seems to have accepted the gator presense in a laconic manner.

Genevieve

About a year ago, I read an article about the animals coming back into depopulated areas of East Germany and other former Soviet bloc countries like Romania and Bulgaria. I think wild pigs are another species that has returned around Berlin, and as I recall, ospreys, bears, and wildcats were also mentioned. Domestic cats are mating with wildcats in some areas. Reading about it in the safety of my Kentucky home, I think the return of the animals is a good and natural thing, and I hope they will be allowed to remain. If I were one of the humans who chose to remain in the area, I'd be a little concerned though.

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