Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 1, Number 2, Pages 277-278, Fall 2007. Published and copyright by the Jack H. Berryman Institute. http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


When I first read The Beast in the Garden shortly aft er the release of the hardback edition in 2004, I was reminded of the exchange quoted above in the movie, “The Matrix.” Neo (Mr. Anderson) survived. Scott Lancaster, a teenage athlete running in the hills outside of his Colorado high school, died. He probably never heard the mountain lion that stalked and killed him, but after reading David Baron’s book, I believe we should have. Had our ears been attuned to the proper frequency, the mountain lion’s approach would have been as loud as the subway train that spelled impending death for Neo. Indeed, according to Mr. Baron, at least 2 biologists, James Halfpenny and Michael Sanders, did note the critical habitat and behavioral changes and signaled the alarm. Yet, those people with the power to pull the switch and redirect the train—policy makers, homeowners, and the general public—couldn’t hear it coming in the midst of the cacophony of their own agendas.