Cougar attacks

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bergere, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Hi Folks,,

    Well, I am getting frustrated. On another list,, I have people telling me Cougars don't attack people, or livestock. And if they do, it is only in the high country.
    And that Donkey's and miniature horses will defend against cougars.

    It is truly scary what people think now a days.

    So, does anyone want to set them straight,, if they will listen that is.

    In my area, some folks had a Donkey killed about 6 months ago at the bottom of the hill I live on.
    So much for donkey's being able to fight off cougars.
    Cougars have taken 5 of my Dad's big sheep just this year.

    Just for a start.
     
  2. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    I don't know that it is a regular thing for cougars to attack people, but when we lived on top of a mountain in WA state a cougar attacked and killed a 5 yo girl waiting for the school bus a mile from our house. The father saw it crouching on the rocks next to the driveway, but was unable to get his gun before the cougar got the child. We lived on the outskirts of this little bitty town (population was MAYBE 200 people) and they were a mile down the road from us. We had cougars and bears walking down main street there for awhile until everybody decided to go cougar and bear hunting....didn't care if it was in season or not. And it's true, a bear looks like a human when it's skinned out. Sickening.
    Heather
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Gack! :rolleyes:

    You know, I just love the critters --- but I really dislike people who romanticize the critters.

    :no:

    In any case, I just Googled cougar attacks people and came up with 13,000 hits, many from very reliable sources concerning cougar and mountain lion attacks on people --- bear in mind that, in some places, *cougar* and *mountain lion* are interchangeable terms (as are *puma* and *panther* --- mountain lions here are usually called panthers, for example).

    There's more than enough evidence, IOW, of attacks on people. Data concerning attacks on livestock might be a bit harder to come by, but you might check state wildlife departments. I'd guess they'd have the warnings and some gauge of how much livestock is lost to such attacks.

    Gack! :no:
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Cougars are predators. BIG predators. Donkeys and horses are meat. Sometimes people are meat! Cougars seem to be losing their fear of people. People seem to be losing their fear of cougars. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Even big guard dogs would have trouble dealing with a cougar. Some people seem to think that 'if I don't bother the cougar, the cougar won't bother me.' Not very bright, IMHO.
     
  5. Hi, I'm new to the forum and having trouble with my username, "Practicalcat". We live in very rural, far north idaho and had trouble with cougars near our cabin, as well as bears coming right up on the porch. We now have 3 Great Pyrenees dogs, and while our neighbors still have cougar tracks near their place (1/2 mile away), the predators give our place a wide berth.



    Lisa
     
  6. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I don't know where they got that idea! Cougars are predators and I'm sure humans are just as good a food as anything else they go after. We live in a plains state and they follow the river here. They usually stay in the more hilly areas, but they've attacked cows and horses here and one lady had one jump on her car last year, thank goodness her windows were up!
    The only equine animal I've ever heard would fight them back is a mule. I've heard mules will at least try to stomp on them, but actually, I think mules are better at keeping coyotes away.
    I can't imagine why someone would think a miniature horse could run them off! :confused:
     
  7. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    Cougar attacks become more frequent as many states quit permitting hunting of the big cats with hounds, and as populations shift into the big cats territories, more over the latter. When i lived in Chico california a few years ago, in the middle of downtown is a large park [Bidwell where the hooker Oak tree once stood] and in that park where 50,000 people surround it was officially one cougar removed by game officials, however unofficially there were 5 cougars destroyed in that park in one week. Bidwell park is around five miles in length and varies in width, but people were getting upset as dogs and small cats were dissappearing, and to think of the number of kids and adults who were playing and jogging and riding in that park at any given time, it is amazing that no one was killed there or attacked.....

    Hound hunters keep populations in check, and conserve game while persuing a pasttime. As always there arte probably a few bad apples in the arena, but they are not around long anyway. Call the state fish and game and request hound hunting of bear and cougar if not legal in the state be made so and help to keep those hunters spending money at home and not in places like Idaho where we have over 12,000 hunters with hounds partaking in the seasons offered each year already. And we still have plenty of large cats and bear arpound for people to take pictures of.

    William
     
  8. bre

    bre Active Member

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    Here's a link to an attack this weekend of five year old boy by cougar here in Alberta.
    Cougar Attack
     
  9. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    I would actually say you are understating here. Cougars are a top end predator. There is pretty much nothing, other than man, which they are afraid of. And as they are crowded out of their habitat, and become simultaneously overpopulated as we have stopped most predator hunts of them, they become less afraid of humans as well. Normally, they are not very prone to attacking humans, and actually are hard to even get a glimpse of in the wild. As they are suffering from rapidly increasing habitat pressure though, these attacks are becoming far more common, and children have always been an exception, they just look like an easy meal to them. I have been trailed by one of these animals for about half a mile down a dirt road at dusk. It is a very scary experience. They are an extremely beatify, graceful, powerful, and absolutely terrifying animal. I have personally seen one go from sleeping in a fetal position in the middle of a dirt road, up a 50-60 foot cliff face without hesitating. This is an animal that has been known to take on a moose, so they most assuredly are not afraid of a donkey or miniature horse. If they are hungry enough, they will take down a full-grown horse. I love wild animals, and do everything I can to protect them on my property, but am currently having a disagreement with my wife as I found tracks a few weeks ago, so she is upset that I continue to not carry a weapon with me when I go up the hill. She may be right, and if it was breeding season I probably would be carrying when I go up the hill. The bears don't scare me, but cougars do.
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    The big cats are definitely getting crowded out of their habitat.

    You know, yesterday, for the first time ever, I saw a bobcat that had been hit and killed by a car. Might not be a mountain lion or as big as a mountain lion, but I have to admit, it kind of spooked me. I've never seen that before!

    :no:
     
  11. poppy

    poppy Guest

    There was a good reason our ancestors carried weapons and shot all the wolves, cougars, and bears they could. These preditors killed their families and livestock. The enviro wackos think it is cool to repopulate these animals. I hope they all end up like the guy awhile back who enjoyed going out at night and howling with the wolves. Claimed he could communicate with them. One night he didn't come back.
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    My cats have no problem tackling anything half their size. If they were hungry I'm sure that they would go after bigger game. Tru weighs 17# and is rather slim. He is also very smart for a cat. He has attacked my feet when I wanted him to stay in and he wanted out. He also can open doors if they have a lever type handle. If he were as big as a cougar he would be extremely dangerous. People think all cats are like their sweet little cuddly friend. They are NOT! They are very individual. A cougar is an animal that does not survive unless it is smart and willing to kill.

    A neighbor of mine lost his pigs to a cougar a few years ago. He claimed he saw her take a sow and haul it up a cliff. I don't frighten easily, but there were several times I was outside at nite and just had a very weird sensation of danger very close! I immediately got indoors.

    It seems most people who are attacked do not exhibit caution when in lion territory.
     
  13. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the animals are being crowded out as much as extending their range.

    From what I have read,larger predators are making a 'comeback' and as the truly wild areas are becoming overcrowded(by these predators) the younger animals are spreading further afield.

    There ARE occasions where these animals habitat IS being intruded upon but most of these places have ALWAYS had people there....

    CG,you say you saw a dead bobcat in your area,well haven't people lived there for a long time???The animals are coming BACK to areas where they had been driven out of.
     
  14. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    People have lived here for a very long time, but mostly in scattered family-based settlements, with a few kind of towns here and there. The area began booming a bit north of here (about 20 miles NW actually) maybe about ten years ago, but I still remember the roads we used to have to take to come back here --- boy howdy! :eek: Anyone who complains about our two lane blacktop highways never drove the old roads! :haha: Talk about hillbilly fun rides! :D

    So, yes, it's been populated a long time but relatively sparsely until fairly recently.
     
  15. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    oz, I would say in many places it is a combination, more people and more animals. I am not a hunter myself, never enjoyed it when I was a kid. But I have always been in touch enough with nature to understand the need for it to maintain the proper balance. In many of the places that there is being a larger increase in the predator population we have all but eliminated predation hunts to keep a reasonable balance, so the predator population is climbing rapidly. In addition, the human population is rapidly increasing in these areas, with a lot of naivety persons who put themselves in harms way without understanding what is happening. Without having learned the situation you don't get the sensations Cyngbaeld is talking about, at least at the correct times, those are learned by experience, not instinct. In addition, out here in the west the number of severe fires in the past 7-10 years are driving the animals into other areas, so more sightings as well. You have more animals, less habitat, more people, and the animals aren't afraid. As much as I like the cats it is going o be a major problem very soon. I do not agree with wiping them out, they are a part of the balance, but they do need to be kept at reasonable levels though.
     
  16. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Have these people on the other list ever actually seen a cougar? I have, on the trail while hiking, and I have never been so scared in my life. They are huge and deadly and most definitely predators of the highest rank. Lets face it, livestock are prey animals - a sheep, goat, or cow wouldn't stand a chance against one.

    I know that there have been increased cougar sightings in Western WA. A lot of that has to do with more people moving out to rural areas that always had cougars (and bears, and coyotes) around to begin with. A lot of that also has to do with the fact that some do-gooders banned hound hunting, which was the major way cougars were hunted.
     
  17. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I've seen cougar tracks on my place about 6 or 8 times over the last few years. Usually in the late fall, on the trail to the spring. My neighbor across the street, who has an 1800 acre ranch, killed one a few years ago. Another rancher about 10 miles from me actually caught a black panther and had it caged at his place. I got a glimpse of a big cat about a month ago on my place, but it was a (big) bobcat. I don't ever want to come face to face with one. We took the grandkids to the Fort Worth zoo Sunday, and saw one up close. Funny, this cougar heard a worker pushing a trash cart down the walk, and came right up to the front of the cage (about 4 ft. away from us), pacing and hungry obviously thinking it was the guy pushing the food cart. He was huge.
     
  18. Jacki

    Jacki Well-Known Member

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    I saw a cougar while horseback riding many years ago, and my uncle shot and killed a tom that had been killing goats a few days ago. I KNOW that there is a lair across the creek from where I live, up on a cliff. I have a VERY, VERY healthy respect for the big cats, and think that banning hound hunting is one of the stupidest things the city folk have done in the state of OR. That was one of the best methods for teaching respect for humans and their animals we had.

    Jacki
     
  19. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Well-Known Member

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    Notice how the attacks are becoming much more frequent. Cougars are relatively unlikely to attack in their normal environment I believe, but they are becoming more and more aclimated to people, and less afraid.

    They're a magnificent beast, but they need to retain their fear of people for both the sake of their own offspring and ours.




    ****

    A list of Cougar attacks from 1890 - 1990

    http://users.frii.com/mytymyk/lions/attacks.htm

    1990 - 2001

    http://users.frii.com/mytymyk/lions/attacks2.htm

    2001 - present

    http://users.frii.com/mytymyk/lions/attacks3.htm