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Today's useless fact - How dangerous are cougars?
posted Monday April 5, 2004 @ 21:40 by bigass

Fearsome tales of cougars ("pumas," "panthers," "mountain lions," sometimes "catamounts") stalking adults for miles and then pouncing for the kill are fiction, not fact. Like any wild animal, a cougar wounded, sick, or cornered can be dangerous, especially a mother with kittens. Even so, given a choice, some authorities say that cougars will attempt diversion rather than attack.

Cougars are, in fact, rather shy and prefer to avoid human encounter. Like wolves, they have been given a reputation as killers which is quite undeserved. It is unfortunate that bears have been treated so sentimentally ("Goldilocks," Gentle Ben, Smokey), whereas cougars are so often regarded with fear. For bears really are dangerous, as Yellowstone Park rangers know very well even if tourists do not; people in tents or sleeping bags have been killed by bears and many others have been maimed. But not by cougars.

PS. I'm down for Thursday



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