Cougars are strong…smart too

Cougars are exquis­itely built killing machines cap­able of tak­ing down an anim­al sev­en times their size. But this strength can’t be fully appre­ci­ated unless wit­nessed.

A 2001 video taken in New Mexico shows a 70-kilo­gram (150-pound) cou­gar tack­ling a 120-kilogrom (265-pound) mule deer.maxablebcr2.jpg

The strength of the cou­gar as it takes down this deer is incred­ible. Even being kicked repeatedly in the head by sharp hooves does not per­suade the cat to let go. And when its ini­tial attempts to kill the deer don’t work, the cou­gar employs a new strategy.

Don’t for­get to watch the tip of the cougar’s tail.

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2 Responses to Cougars are strong…smart too

  1. paul march says:

    In July, I was sit­ting on my front porch in Port Burwell, Ontario. It’s south of Woodstock, On and backs onto Port Burwell Provincial Park on Lake Erie.

    Some rel­at­ives went down to the beach for a birth­day camp­fire around 10 pm, and I declined, as
    usu­al, because it’s dark and my knees are bad in the sand (and
    every­where else). So they left me on the front porch and there was no
    one around. No traffic, noth­ing.

    So I stayed on the porch, had a glass or two of wine and savoured how
    nice it was to be there, when I saw this big anim­al lop­ing down the
    side of the road toward the front of the house in the gravel and
    mak­ing a fairly good clip.

    At first I thought it was maybe a coyote, then maybe a really big dog
    without a col­lar and and without a leash-hold­ing own­er, either of which scen­ari­os could be poten­tially bad news for a lone Homo Sapien. When it got really close I real­ized it was a cou­gar, a really big one, and not the
    kind cou­gar you see in the club dis­trict. I was not scared because it
    happened by so fast (and kept mov­ing), but it was only about 12 feet away and I didn’t know what to do.

    So I just sat there watch­ing it go by. When this thing passed by he/​she
    gave me a really dirty look, as if to say: “Yo, stu­pid mon­key thing,
    don’t even think about doing what you’re think­ing of doing.” Actually,
    what I was think­ing was that there was no way I could’ve jumped over a
    bunch Adirondack chairs and got­ten inside the house before it made a
    couple of simple jumps, got­ten past the Andirondack chairs and had me
    by the back of the throat.

    Thank God it wasn’t hungry.

    Anyway, it made a right turn and headed into the bush next to the
    Parks Dept. park­ing lot. Haven’t seen it since, but there seems to be
    few­er employ­ees stand­ing around the Parks Dept. park­ing lot. It was a
    beau­ti­ful-look­ing creature, but you don’t really want to see one of
    them out­side the African Safari.

    In my sub­sequent con­ver­sa­tions with a report­er the loc­al Aylmer Express who talked to a Ministry offi­cial and, after my own online research, all of us fig­ure it was not a wild cou­gar, more likely an escaped or released (!) pet who had grown too large. Why else would it be walk­ing beside a road and not creep­ing through the woods? Wild cou­gars, once pre­val­ent in south­west­ern ontario, are thought to have been hunted out dur­ing the 19th Century, but there have been a few sight­ings and some think they might be mak­ing a comeback.

    No one else saw it. While it was headed toward the park, the Parks people were not inter­ested, but no one and no pets got hurt. It was kind of like a “Jaws” moment. Or a UFO kid­nap­ping story. No pics. No one believed me. Tracks, how­ever, have been seen on the beach by oth­ers.

    A beau­ti­ful and fas­cin­at­ing creature and I feel lucky to have seen one so close and sur­vived to tell about it. I think the eye con­tact may have saved my life.

    My broth­er, Dave, saw a bob­cat walk­ing by the house last night. Bobbed tail. Nowhere near as large as the cou­gar, but that’s anoth­er story. We’ve lived here sev­en years and not seen any big cats before.

    Good luck with your book. I’ll have to pick up a copy, for sure.

    Sincerely,
    Paul March,
    3 Chatham Street, Port Burwell, On.

    • Paula says:

      Hi Paul,

      What a thrill­ing, albeit scary, few moments for you! Making eye con­tact was def­in­itely the right thing to do. And if you had leaped back toward the house, that move­ment may have triggered the cougar’s chase and kill instinct.

      It’s estim­ated there are more than 500 cou­gars roam­ing around Ontario and, you’re right, some are prob­ably escaped or delib­er­ately released pets.

      Sounds like you live in a lovely spot…and now you know a bit more about who your wild neigh­bours are.

      All the best,
      Paula

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