People settle on cougar territory. Cougar gets used to people. People kill cougar.

The title summarises in three short sentences the story of this cougar and, frankly it is a sad story and a sad indictment of the failure of humans to protect wildlife. As human population numbers grow rapidly there is only one trend: it’ll get worse.

Cougar shot because she got used to being around people
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Cougar shot because she got used to being around people. Note: the coat colour is inaccurate due to this being a poor quality screenshot.

This particular cougar (aka puma) was used to sunning herself on a sundeck in a Ruskin trailer park, USA. She made it a habit and it cost her her life because once a large wild cat gets used to being around people, the authorities decide that the cat is a danger to the residents.

Of course the people are much more of a danger to the cat! The cat’s death at the hands of people is proof of that.

Conservationists went to the trailer park that the cat had made her resting spot and tranquillised her. They took her away and euthanised her.

They say relocation does not work because the cat comes back. This is because the cat’s home range included the trailer park. Perhaps the trailer park should have been relocated?! I suggest this because the family of this cat was probably at this location before the trailer park. Or she was forced to choose the spot because of human settlement expansion elsewhere.

The cat was 15-months-of-age. Her life was ahead of her. At first she lounged on the deck of Kevyn Helmer’s deck late last year. Last Monday another resident at the park found her sleeping in his yard.

It’s speculated that she was feeding on cat food. It’s almost a replication of the original domestication of the wild cat 10,000 years ago. This cougar was becoming semi-domesticated, almost a community cat. The only problem is that she was big and considered dangerous.

Female cougars aren’t that big though (about the weight of a ten year old boy) and they are shy and can be scared off. Wasn’t there a better more humane way of dealing with this? It’s just so sad. She was innocent, harming no one.


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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28 Responses

  1. Ron says:

    This really pisses me off. The characterization of this cougar as a “community cat” might sound odd, but tame cougars are very much like housecats in character. Yes, they are large, but they have a good affinity for humans. They are generally really sweet cats, and deserve better than this.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Couldn’t agree more with you Ron. This cat – albeit a very large cat – became a ‘community cat’ but had no idea how dangerous the community was.

  2. Native_Catvocate says:

    Incorrect. Female cougars grow larger than males. I used to see really large females on the big US Marine base on Camp Pendleton–some left tracks twice the diameter of my hand, and they hunted right up to the ambulance entrance at the old Naval hospital.

    One huge female had her den right at the base of the hill beneath married officer housing. No one except I and one other person knew she was there–she was very secretive, and active mostly at night–and she never bothered anyone.

    And what attracts cougars to human habitation is not some tendency to become “domesticated” or “community cougars”, but the presence of domesticated animals kept outside where the cougar finds them easy prey. It’s natural for predators to seek favorable energy exchanges–i.e. the most energy gained from its prey, the least energy expended in obtaining it.

    Puma concolor belongs here. Felis catus and Canis familiaris don’t. If idiots would stop “baiting” wild animals by leaving their wretched “pets” outside, this wouldn’t happen, and these magnificant animals wouldn’t be needlessly killed.

    • Michael Broad says:

      “Incorrect. Female cougars grow larger than males” – sorry on average your statement is very incorrect. I have hard data from the best source to support that. You may have seen large females but in general they are smaller. That is common knowledge in fact.

      You have an agenda to peddle – get rid of domestic cats because you hate domestic cats. This means you distort the truth for your own ends. No more comments please.

      • Native_Catvocate says:

        Really? How many cougars have you seen in the wild? And since when do “solicitors” qualify as “experts” on native North American cats, or any other type of wildlife, for that matter?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Puma don’t feed on cat-food. They feed on live things, like cats. The ones who wanted the puma dead were those who were letting their cats outside (evidenced by the cat-food claim), to protect their cats from being eaten by the puma. A story you can read dozens of times every year wherever puma and domesticated cats are found in the same area. Shoot the puma to save their outdoor cats. People who don’t have outdoor cats don’t mind having a puma around and don’t care at all what happens to the cats of negligent cat owners. Blame yourselves.

  4. Frances A Danna says:

    What a totally sad and inexcusable story. This outrages and saddens me beyond words. I agree with everyone who believes that an alternative solution could have been found to handle this situation. This poor cougar did nothing “wrong” to warrant losing her life. People make me sick too, literally, all the time. ?????

  5. Cats Meow says:

    Shame on all involved! The residents should have scared the cougar away and not allowed her to get comfortable. Then she would still be alive.

    • M. E. King says:

      This is where i get so mad. Wildlife is supposed to have a natural fear or aversion to man. Like I said I’m sure they thought this was cute and cozy. The people who had to do the dirty deed are not really guilty but the people who fostered this behavior are. If game and fish waited until the cat killed or mauled someone they’d have a lot worse to deal with.

      • Michael Broad says:

        Yes, but the authorities don’t round up all the pitbulls and other dangerous dogs and euthanise them. Pet dogs are way more dangerous than cougars and this was a female which means she was probably even less dangerous in terms of size and aggression. If she left alone no one would have been hurt.

  6. M. E. King says:

    Part of surveys for rural building in fact any expansion of housing or industrial growth should have to include wildlife studies.
    I’ll hit at the heart of this. I’m willing to bet the first few times Mr. Puma sunned on the deck the stupid humans thought it was cute and cool. Most animals have ‘game trails’ that the follow on a routine. They don’t just gallivant though the forest hoping to hop on a deer. They return to areas where they find food, water and shelter. The stupid humans allowed this animal to be acclimated to humans by not acting aggressively in the beginning. There are aversion tactics that work and are non lethal. Fish and Game were probably notified by concerned neighbors who don’t want their children to fall prey to a wild animal. Human and animal territory can overlap if the humans are educated into how to deal with wildlife.

  7. Albert Schepis says:

    You’re so right Michael, and I’m sure that with a little education and patience, people and cat would have coexisted fine. Ultimately that cat was about as dangerous as a stray dog. Leave it alone or tell it to “shoo” if you think it’s taking up too much space on your deck. Killing it for taking a nap? Jesus Christ people make me sick.

  8. Mary Dellenbusch says:

    And this here is the root of the problem. HUMANS!! Humans take, and take all the animals space and wonder why they come into their (the animals) space that was taken from them??!! Well, what the fuck do you think they are going to do? Humans are in their space! Humans need to stop multiplying like damn rabbits!! Its always the animals that suffer!! I’m so fucking sick of our species! We do not need more spawn in this world! The humans need to be culled big time!! The animals sure as fuck will not miss us and the earth would be much happier! I’m so tired of seeing how the animals suffer from humans greed and ignorance! This species is on the brink as it is!!

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks Mary. I feel the same way! And even David Attenborough the world’s current greatest zoologist says that humans are a disease on the planet in respect of the damage they inflict on the planet and its wildlife.

      • Mary Dellenbusch says:

        David is a smart and kind human. I have many of his videos that he’s narrated. All of animals of course. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks this. Thanks Michael.

      • Albert Schepis says:

        I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time. Glad I’m finally in good, well-respected company.

    • Albert Schepis says:

      I agree with you whole-heartedly Mary and don’t mind your anger and expletives. It’s warranted, and I’m refraining from censoring myself too, as you see by my use of calling “Jesus Christ”, though I never understood why that usage was profane. It’s just an expression of anger, asking a dead man to pay attention.

      • Mary Dellenbusch says:

        Thank you Albert. I’m very unfiltered. I don’t believe in making nice for the use of societies feelings. If one can’t tell it like it is, don’t say anything at all. I was always told never sugar coat it.

        • Native_Catvocate says:

          Then there’s no need for me to sugar-coat this: you advocate “culling” of humans, but you never step forward and volunteer to be culled. What you really mean is you want OTHER humans to be culled.

          This begs the question WHICH humans you want culled. Somehow miserable, hateful white cat-nutters never want their own kind to be culled.

          • Mary Dellenbusch says:

            Oh, I’m more than willing to give my life for them! Are you?? I’m not afraid to die. I’m dieing anyways therefore sooner is not going to matter. We all die at some point. If I have to give my life to save an animals than I’m more than happy to do it. You should perhaps think first before accusing one of not doing what they say. As to being miserable, not at all. I hate all those that kill and think they have a right to exist over every other animal here. And I’m not sure what you mean by “white” are you being prejudiced?? Perhaps you need to re-think your words.

            • Anonymous says:

              So, what you are saying, is that people who intentionally kill cougars to save the lives of their vermin invasive species outdoor cats should be killed first? (As is what happened to the cougar in this case.) On that we both agree. Let us know when and where you want your personal firing-line. We’ll be happy to be there with guns loaded and drawn.

            • Native_Catvocate says:

              Scratch a white… (deleted as gratuitously insulting – Admin)

              • Michael Broad says:

                Read your comment. You’re banned again.

                • Native_Catvocate says:

                  The clearest indication you can’t refute your opponent is when you silence him. At least you’re consistent–as an utter failure.

                  • Michael Broad says:

                    No you are silenced because you have insulted a friend of mine. It is as simple as that. But you are too thick to know it.

                    • Native_Catvocate says:

                      Nah. You censor me when my commments contain no insults whatsoever. Example, my list of species rendered extinct by feral cats. You censor that one because you can’t ANSWER it.

                      Do you find it “insulting” to be proved wrong? If so you’ll be insulted for the rest of your miserable life…

                    • Michael Broad says:

                      Wrong, you insult and you only have to insult once to be banned permanently. That’s the rule and it is stated clearly. I have allowed you plenty of leeway and you have consistently returned under aliases to insult again and again. It’s your problem.

          • Michael Broad says:

            Well, I can think one right away: you! You are a cat hater who wants to kill cats en masse. The world would be a better place without you for sure.

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