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.

    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,

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