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~ Momma cougar ~

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
PinkDalek
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~ Momma cougar ~

#348061

Postby PinkDalek » October 15th, 2020, 5:28 pm

Cougar stalk: Utah jogger on six-minute encounter with a mountain lion
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-54548467

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348075

Postby XFool » October 15th, 2020, 6:31 pm

I saw that. Scary.

But, as explained elsewhere on the net, she certainly wasn't "stalking" him (if she had been he wouldn't have seen her until the last moment). She was seeing him off, after he had accidentally encountered her kittens - not shown on all the videos as edited out as not as 'interesting'. Advice was to keep staring at her, be very noisy and aggressive and big yourself up.

I reckon I would have stared hard, raised my arms above my head, hissed at her, plus been noisy and even started moves towards her. Would still be scary!

He seems to have done pretty well the right things.

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348084

Postby doug2500 » October 15th, 2020, 7:54 pm

........except turning around when he first saw the cub.

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348233

Postby bungeejumper » October 16th, 2020, 12:18 pm

It was him chucking the stones that finally saw the lioness off. His biggest problem until that moment had been that she'd have been down onto him as soon as he bent down and took his eyes off her. :?

Another good argument for carrying a stick or a walking pole. We often walk in areas of France where wolves happen, and we wouldn't really feel comfortable without something like that in our hands. Not that it would necessarily be more than a deterrent against an attack, of course. They say that a wolf's bite can exceed 1,200 psi, which is enough to chop the leg off a cow in a single action. A male African lion, by comparison, scores a miserable 650 psi. :|

Fine bit of video, though. The guy did everything right. Should be required viewing for walkers in certain places.

BJ

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348261

Postby mc2fool » October 16th, 2020, 1:53 pm


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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348264

Postby mc2fool » October 16th, 2020, 2:03 pm

BTW, the full unedited 6 minute encounter (with the mountain lion ;)) is at https://www.facebook.com/KSLNewsradio/videos/1027586534348500

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348406

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 17th, 2020, 12:36 am

Can't speak for big cats, but picking up a stone will cause an aggressive dog to back off. They know it's a weapon.

Better than that, just pretending to pick up a stone works. Useful for terrain that's bare of stones. But only short-term: once they see you're bluffing they lose their fear.

(How do I know? Lots of experience from my time in Italy. No big cats, and never had to fend off bears or wolves, but dogs could be less than friendly).

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348490

Postby XFool » October 17th, 2020, 3:48 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Can't speak for big cats, but picking up a stone will cause an aggressive dog to back off. They know it's a weapon.

Better than that, just pretending to pick up a stone works. Useful for terrain that's bare of stones. But only short-term: once they see you're bluffing they lose their fear.

(How do I know? Lots of experience from my time in Italy. No big cats, and never had to fend off bears or wolves, but dogs could be less than friendly).

I would be very surprised if pretending to pick up a stone, or even actually picking one up, would work in these circumstances. Your dogs would have learned, from previous encounters with people, of the threat from stones - seems unlikely this cat would have.

What surprised me watching the full video is how far she pursued him, away from her cubs. She seemed to get stuck in her behaviour until physically threatened herself.

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348505

Postby bungeejumper » October 17th, 2020, 4:51 pm

XFool wrote:What surprised me watching the full video is how far she pursued him, away from her cubs. She seemed to get stuck in her behaviour until physically threatened herself.

Maybe I've been watching too many Attenborough repeats lately, but it seems that big cats with small cubs can get hungry enough to at least think about chasing pretty much anything. The cubs' vulnerability would tie her down and would put an effective damper on chasing deer and suchlike, but when a nice tasty human turns up - the smaller the better - the risk to herself might seem worth taking?

And then, by the time you've thrown in a dash of maternal protection hormones and a fair shot of adrenaline, she'd be too pumped up to give up and walk away without a trigger, such as the stones clattering around her. That would be something that she'd never have seen from any ordinary prey, of course, which was probably why it stopped her and made her think again.

On balance, I tend to agree that the risk to the walker probably wasn't that great. North American mountain lions have only killed about a dozen people in the last hundred years. Mind you, I don't think I'd have savoured the possibility of being number thirteen. :|

BJ

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348510

Postby UncleEbenezer » October 17th, 2020, 5:18 pm

XFool wrote:What surprised me watching the full video is how far she pursued him, away from her cubs. She seemed to get stuck in her behaviour until physically threatened herself.


Not really surprising, if you consider her need was to see him off good and proper - which she clearly accomplished. Lots of threatening behaviour, but never escalated to an actual attack - which could of course have seriously hurt both of them.

This chap was quite a lot bigger than her - not obvious prey (unless she was desperate), but a potential threat.

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Re: ~ Momma cougar ~

#348744

Postby bungeejumper » October 18th, 2020, 6:42 pm

Just out of idle curiosity, I googled a comparison between a cougar and a leopard, an animal which of course kills around 500 people every year in India. First surprise is that the leopard is slightly smaller than the cougar; second surprise is that the cougar has markedly more powerful front legs. (I think I could have guessed that from the behaviour of the one in the video.) Males of both cats grow to 90-100 kg in weight, which means that they could be somewhat heavier than the walker in this particular video. Fully-grown females are closer to 60 kg, which is still getting on for ten stone. :?

The leopard's higher killing rate is partly due to a more powerful skull which delivers a bigger bite - but then, I'd imagine that killing people in Indian villages is also easier, given that leopards often invade residential areas at night. There's also the fact that Indian leopards' habitat is under pressure from human expansion, a problem that the American cougars presumably don't face to such a degree?

I'm still glad it wasn't me that encountered that animal. :)

BJ


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