I've been hearing quite a bit about the photo published in this month's National Geographic magazine of the famous Griffith Park mountain lion. I admit that members of my species haven't always treated you and your deer relatives with the utmost respect, but we nevertheless consider you the unofficial mayor of the Santa Monica Mountains. As such, I'm curious to ask -- what do you know about this? Should members of my and your species be on heightened alert?
Dear Mr. Coyote,
The mountain lion you're referring to is named Charles Aldo Cougar. The bi-peds don't know this, so they've dubbed him P-22. Mr. Cougar and I have crossed paths on several occasions, primarily in the hills behind Griffith Observatory, where I often go to take my evening strolls. Ordinarily, an encounter between deer and mountain lion does not end well for the former, but I have my strategies. A mountain lion won't blink when confronted with a hiker in running pants or a leashed cocker spaniel with a wagging tail -- but I believe Mr. Cougar finds my smoking jacket confusing. He simply isn't used to seeing quadrupeds wearing silk.
The threats posed to your species and mine by an animal higher up the totem pole are real, and the simple fact is that the risks are always there. But our safety and well-being are no more threatened as a result of this photo garnering so much attention. That said, if I were you I'd tell my coyote tribe to look out for a starstruck mountain lion heading down to Hollywood for auditions.
See you on the mountain,