A somewhat mind-bending study found that reintroducing cougars to Eastern US could be a net benefit for people. As reported by the great folks over at Science News, researcher Sophie Gilbert and her team from the University of Alaska found that it really could be the case:
The key is the big cats’ predation on deer. Deer are huge problems. The animals damage crops and gardens. They transmit diseases. And they get hit by cars, sometimes injuring or even killing people. Cougars eat deer, and if there were more cougars, vehicle collision rates might drop, the scientists figured.
…and that could save lives, lower insurance premiums, and overall be good thing for humans.
But what about the downsides of having these large predators around? Next, we look at how the team addressed those…