The video below gives us a nice feel for how a trekker might encounter a cougar (puma or mountain lion) in America. This incident occurred in California. I believe there is a misconception about the desire of mountain lions to attack humans. They hardly ever do it. Children are normally the victims. Mountain lion attacks on people are rare. According to Wikipedia there have been five fatal cougar attacks in the entirety of America since 2000 – the past 18 years.
For comparison, during the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, dogs killed 433 Americans. The contrast is stark. And yet humans are far more fearful of mountain lions than pet dogs. Remember these are domesticated dogs killing large numbers of people whereas the cougar is a wild animal.
Cougars are similar to the cheetah and snow leopard in terms of mildness of character. All three have been domesticated. Of the three the snow leopard has the ‘gentlest’ of characters towards people probably because they have not learned how dangerous humans are.
You can see the retiring nature of the cougar in the video. He or she immediately trots away from the trekkers when she sees them and then takes up a high vantage point from which she observers the couple. There is no aggression. The couple walk backwards to avoid presenting themselves as fleeing prey to the cougar. That’s wise but I’d bet my bottom dollar that the cat wouldn’t have bothered anyway.
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Definitely not what you want to find during a backpacking trip ?
Posted by Daily Mail on Friday, November 23, 2018
The video says that the cat is not what you’d want to find during a backpacking trip but I’d disagree. What a fantastic experience to see this superb animal in the wild. Not many people get the chance. I’d treasure it.
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