Well, North Sider, are you scared of the cougar, yet? I've been going on and on to Erika about how I want to attract predators to our new big back yard. I was thinking more owls or hawks, but cougars would be fine. This has "First Chicago man mauled by cougar since 1809" written all over it, to run in the Sun-Times in two months. That first Chicago man will be me when I take out the garbage after nightfall one June evening. The animal was attracted by the scent of organ meat (really leftover vegan riblets).
For apocalypticiscts, this is a telling sign, I feel, as it heralds the vanguard of Nature's eventual reclamation of North America from man. The resurgence of the bear and the wolf in the Rocky Mountains and upper Plains States has increased food competition, driving predators such as the cougar back east. We've made efforts to boost populations of classic American animals, but we may begin to run into the problems that lead to their near-extinction in the past. It certainly could make city and suburban life more exciting (lots of eaten pets), as well as up the stakes for clods hunting deer in, say, Wisconsin (lots of eaten Packer fans).