In this Age of Urban Predators, People Must Learn to Co-exist with “Homeless” Wildlife

Every city in the world has something valuable to learn from Los Angeles and Mumbai.

These megacities are home to more than 10 million people — and urban predators such as mountain lions and leopards.

Photo: YouTube/Associated Press

This is the aftermath of human encroachment on wildlife habitats. Many of them, including predators, have lost their homes and sources of food. In order to survive, they take the risk of venturing into cities and live in the shadows. At night is when these animals go out to rummage trash cans or to catch feral dogs and cats who likewise look for food among human garbage.

There are other cities and places where urban predators no longer mind being seen in the daytime. In Rome, wild boars even bring their young ones along in search of sustenance.

In North America, coyotes are a major problem whose population has exploded beyond control. In some US states, bears are being treated like pets but wily raccoons are hated.

Photo: YouTube/Associated Press

But in Los Angeles, experts and government officials are educating the public on how to co-exist with the mountain lions who have taken residence in the world-famous city. At the same time, efforts are being undertaken to put tracking collars on the more than 100 urban predators to study their behavior, including the threats to their existence in LA.

LA has been building wildlife underpasses and will soon even complete a wildlife crossing bridge that is adapted to the needs of these big cats for a tranquil life. These wild animals do not want conflict with humans; they just want to survive.

Photo: YouTube/Associated Press

In Mumbai, the situation is similar with its citizens and the city’s “adopted” leopards. The big cats react violently only when they feel threatened or get attacked.

The best advice that experts give to the public is to avoid close encounters with these urban predators.

We can no longer stop urbanization and other development as the human population continues to grow exponentially. What we can do is learn to co-exist with the wild animals we have displaced for their and our survival.

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