I’d forgotten about the Foreword Review’s IndieFab Nature Book of the Year nomination so was caught totally off guard when The Cougar received the gold award!
As always, I’m so grateful for the support and great work done by my publisher, Douglas & McIntyre and to all the people who so generously contributed their knowledge, experiences and photographs. The book wouldn’t exist without them.
Cougars are hard-wired to kill, that’s how they survive. But do they always chase prey because they’re hungry? No one knows for sure.
There are instances where cougars chose to tackle large prey such as a buck elk even when smaller animals are readily accessible. Biologist and cougar safety expert, Dave Eyer, speculates this might be because some cougars like a big challenge even when no one’s around to applaud.
I’ll take that one step further and suggest that sometimes cougars chase prey for practise or for the sheer pleasure of the pursuit. Of course, if they catch what they’re after, they’ll kill and eat it.
Take a look at these photos of a cougar chasing a howler money through the trees in Costa Rica and see what you think.
Cougar cubs lead precarious lives. Other predators – even male cougars — prey on them. They can also become sick or get injured. But perhaps the worst thing that can happen is losing their mom.
Most young adult cougars head out on their own when they’re 18-months to two-years old. By that time they have rudimentary hunting skills and are usually large enough to take down prey on their own. Even then some young cougars don’t survive.
But if mom is shot by a hunter, hit by a car or killed taking down prey when her cubs are younger than 18-months old, their chances of survival decrease dramatically.
Cougars are secretive carnivores so much about their day-to-day lives and relationships with each other remains unknown. So it was a real surprise when researchers with Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project in Jackson Hole, Wyoming discovered a female cougar with young of her own had adopted three orphaned cubs.