The cougar is also known as the mountain lion, panther or puma. Adult males can be more than 2.5 metres long from nose to end of the tail, and weigh 60 – 70 kilograms. Cougars live in many different habitats; from deserts to humid coast range forests, and from sea level to 3000 metres above. They are most abundant in areas with plenty of deer. They are solitary, unpredictable and strongly territorial hunters. The cougar will attempt to conceal itself tor a surprise attack while stalking its prey.
How to Avoid an Attack
Consider the following:
- Avoid hiking alone – especially between dusk and dawn when cougars normally hunt,
- Make noise while you hike,
- Keep children in sight while hiking – and within arms reach in areas where a lion can hide,
- Hike with a good walking stick – this can be useful in fighting off a lion,
- Do not approach a lion – especially if they are feeding or with young
The Cougar Becomes Aggressive
Stay calm and face the cougar. Give it plenty of room to escape. Don’t run – this may trigger the lion’s instinct to attack. Try to appear larger by raising your hands or opening your coat. Pick up small children and pets so they don’t panic or run. Shout, throw rocks, sticks, or any other item. Stay standing.
Fight Back. Since a cougar usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal. Hit as hard as possible to the head and face. Back away slowly or wait until the lion moves away.