Cougars Use Stealth And Speed To Attack Family Pets
This article is about cougars, a.k.a. mountain lions, and how they choose to eat your pets rather than hunt for deer, mostly because it’s much easier for them.
In a recent example at the top of Bear Valley Springs, CA. a mountain lion attacked a 115 pound German shepherd right in its own backyard. The dog was euthanized a few days later because of the severe injuries it sustained.
A spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kyle Orr, said there are nearly 6,000 mountain lions in California and quickly added that they are very elusive. Mountain lions do their hunting at dusk, dawn and at night. Orr added deer are the main food supply for cougars so if you have a deer population, you more than likely have mountain lions in the area.
A report from the Department of Fish and Wildlife shows 52 percent of mountain lions analyzed had recently eaten domestic animals to include dogs and cats. Of the 107 cougars killed legally in 2015, the stomach contents of the 83 were analyzed. Only 5% of the analyzed animals had eaten deer. The answer is obvious! Family pets are much easier to catch and there is no shortage with homeowners leaving their animals outdoors.
In a story we did about ‘Cougars On The Prowl’ we offer eight safety tips specifically for cougars. We also gave for examples of how mountain lions are expanding their territory-perhaps to a neighborhood near you!
“Los Angeles is the only megacity in the world where mountain lions, AKA cougars and puma live side-by-side with humans” according to CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker was doing a story for the popular show 60 minutes. They were specifically tracking a big cat named P 22. The show was an excellent exposé on relaxed living arrangements in California that lead to lazier lions, perhaps explaining why they choose household pets over their natural prey-deer.
Mountain lions prefer to remain hidden until their prey approaches but they may quietly stalk their prey for up to an hour before they attack leaping 20 to 40 feet with their claws extended. They have amazing physical abilities among them; leaping 30 feet from a standstill or jumping 15 feet straight up a cliff wall or tree; they can run at speeds of 35 to 50 miles an hour.
Mountain lions are considered to be the top of the food chain, with no real natural predators. They can take down a large dog warhorse but will eat small rodents and animals or even insects to stay alive. They can make their home wherever there is shelter and pray.
It is very rare to see a mountain lion and even more rare to be attacked by one. But if you are attacked, fight back with every fiber of the energy you have and stay on your feet. Once you are off your feet, you are doomed to fail. There are stories of successful efforts to survive an attack by fighting back.
Mountain lions have extremely sensitive noses and dislike bear pepper spray as much as bears do.
Get a bear spray with the longest range possible. Look for a spray that empties the canister in five or six seconds. This Frontiersman brand Bear Spray has a range of 35 feet.
Have you ever seen a mountain lion in the wild? What did you do? Share your experience with us, so that others may learn from you.