Lions, Panthers or
Pumas) are making their way back into the
East, in search of the abundant deer populations which have
developed in that region. This is the fourth largest species of cat in the world, although the Eastern variant is
somewhat smaller than the Californian. The are now found
from Maine to Florida, no matter what any bureaucrats of the
individual states might claim.
They can and have stalked and killed humans.
Cougars can kill elk and horses, humans are not a challenge.
They can leap 15 feet vertically and bound 45 feet horizontally.
Males can attain 220 lbs. in weight.
They kill by
biting into the neck and snapping it. It is
only a matter of time before the cougar attacks on humans
occurring in the West also commence in the East.
run, this can trigger an
yourself larger, by opening your
jacket and raising your arms
especially alert at dawn and dusk
Children should walk beside adults,
the majority of those attacked are children
Dogs are no protection, they merely act as
attractants. Leave them at home.
Maintain eye contact, while slowly backing away
If it approaches, throw objects at it while
waving your arms
back if attacked, using stones, sticks or
The description of cougar
behavior below comes from
Camp Life in the Woods; William Hamilton Gibson; 1880
The puma, commonly
known also as the panther or cougar, is the largest
American representative of the Cat tribe, and for this
reason is often dignified by the name of the "American
Lion." It is found more or less abundantly throughout
the United States; and although not generally considered
a dangerous foe to mankind, it has often been known in
the wild districts to steal upon the traveller unawares,
and in many instances human beings have fallen a prey to
the powerful claws and teeth of this powerful animal.
The life of the puma is mostly in the trees. Crouching
upon the branches it watches for, or steals, cat-like,
upon its prey. Should a solitary animal pass within
reach, the puma will not hesitate in pouncing upon the
unfortunate creature; but if a herd of animals, or party
of men, should be travelling together, the caution of
the brute asserts itself, and he will often dog their
footsteps for a great distance, in hopes of securing a
straggler. Birds are struck down by a single blow of the
puma's ready paw, and so quick are his movements that
even though a bird has risen on the wing, he can often
make one of his wonderful bounds, and with a light,
quick stroke, arrest the winged prey before it has time
to soar beyond reach. The puma is a good angler. Sitting
by the water's edge he watches for his victims, and no
sooner does an unfortunate fish swim within reach, than
the nimble paw is outstretched, and it is swept out of
the water on dry land, and eagerly devoured.
A puma has been known to follow the track of travellers
for days together, only daring to show itself at rare
intervals, and never endeavoring to make an attack
except through stealth. The animal will often approach
cautiously upon a traveller until sufficiently near to
make its fatal spring; but if the pursued party suddenly
turn round and face the crawling creature, the beast
becomes discomfited at once, and will retreat from the
gaze which seems to it a positive terror. So long as a
puma can be kept in sight, no danger need be feared from
the animal but it will improve every opportunity of
springing unobservedly upon a heedless passer by.
The total length of the
puma is six feet and a half, of which the tail occupies
a little over two feet. Its color is of
a uniform light tawny tint, fading into light grey on
the under parts, and the tip of the tail is black.
The puma is one of the few members of the Cat tribe,
which are without the usual spots or stripes so
observable in the tiger and leopard. The lion has
the same uniformity of color, and it is perhaps partly
on that account that the panther is so often known as
the American lion. In infancy the young pumas possess
decided tiger-like markings, and leopard-like spots, but
these disappear altogether as the animal increases in
size. The cougar has learned by experience a wholesome
fear of man, and as civilization has extended throughout
our country, the animals have been forced to retire from
the neighborhood of human habitations and hide
themselves in thick, uncultivated forest lands.
Sometimes, however, the animal, urged by fierce hunger,
will venture on a marauding expedition for several
miles, and although not an object of personal dread to
the inhabitants, he often becomes a pestilent neighbor
to the farmer, committing great ravages
among his flocks
and herds, and making sad havoc in his poultry yard. It
is not the fortune of every puma, however, to reside in
the neighborhood of such easy prey as pigs, sheep and
poultry, and the greater number of these animals are
forced to depend for their subsistence on their own
success in chasing or surprising the various animals on
which they feed.
When a puma is treed by hunters, it is said to show
great skill in selecting a spot wherein it shall be best
concealed from the gazers below, and will even draw the
neighboring branches about its body to hide itself from
the aim of the hunter's rifle. While thus lying upon the
branches the beast is almost invisible from below, as
its fur, when seen, harmonizes so well with the the bark
which covers the boughs, that the one can scarcely be
distinguished from the other.
The puma loves to hide in the branches of trees, and
from this eminence to launch itself upon the doomed
animal that may pass within its reach. It may,
therefore, be easily imagined how treacherous a foe the
creature may be when ranging at will among the countless
trees and jungles of our American forests.
can be no covenant between lions and men.
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