Keep Your Eyes Peeled For A Cougar Near You!
In our first story that we did about mountain lions, or cougars as some people call them, I shared with you a good Mountain Lion Defense. In that story we noted that this “ambush predator” has amazing abilities that include leaping as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet by using their powerful limbs. Why is it called an ambush predator? Because it uses its speed, stealth and cunning to sneak up on its prey and attack.
Today we will share with you some stories about mountain lions that seem to indicate they are expanding their territory-perhaps to a neighborhood near you.
In our first story the Folsom Police Department and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife coordinated efforts to capture a mountain lion in a residential area of Folsom. According to one law enforcement official who was at the scene, mountain lion sightings are not all that unusual for them, but this one was because of the location in a residential setting. Seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets and backyards of a neighborhood is definitely unusual behavior for them. The mountain lion was captured by shooting it with a tranquilizer dart and then transported to its natural habitat in the hills.
According to this story mountain lions are making a comeback in the midwest. A representative of animal care at The Chicago Zoological Society noticed an increase in mountain lion sightings in the Chicago area since 2011. That’s because the growing population of young males in west central Wisconsin is being forced out by older males. This article quoted a Chicago Tribune report that says sightings all across the region are up and are likely to increase. Mountain Lions at one time used to roam much of mainland America but have not been reproducing in the Midwest yet.
In another story a six-year-old boy was attacked on a trail by a cougar. Fortunately some adults nearby were able to beat the cougar away. The boy was rushed to a trauma center and was able to survive. The cougar on the other hand was killed two days later and a few hundred yards away from the spot where the boy was attacked. DNA tests confirm it was the same animal. This same article tells us that cougars must kill to survive and that humans and our pets are good candidates for a hungry mountain lion. One good way to tell if there are mountain lions lose in your area is if dogs, cats and small livestock start disappearing.
In our last story for today’s article, there are reports of cougar sightings in Kansas and Missouri and that there are no signs that the animals are reproducing in either state. Almost all mountain lions since 1994 were males coming from established populations in northwestern Nebraska and the Black Hills. The article notes that female mountain lions typically do not wander far from their mothers. Males, as every female knows, aren’t so inhibited and may wander!
One of the best overall deterrents against bear and mountain lion attacks is this 260 gram (9 ounce) Pepper Spray that has a range of 35 feet and empties in 5.4 seconds.
What would you do if faced with a cougar in the wild? Join the conversation!