Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Man Saves Dog From Cougar Attack

There was a time when people said there was no risk of being attacked by a mountain lion / cougar. I remember those days, living in the Pacific Northwest. So, in Washington State, a bunch of animal rights do-gooder's got them to ban cougar hunting with dogs. There were professional dog handlers with packs of hounds. You could hire them to find and kill a menacing cougar near your property. After the law was passed, the shelters got a bunch of these dogs, since it put these guys out of business.

Then, over time, more and more stories cropped up, of them not only attacking animals, but attacking people. Cougar sightings started happening around elementary schools, and then the parents got concerned. Isn't it interesting that the sightings weren't around places where adults congregated? That's because they were stalking children, and everyone knew it. So, the law was repealed.

Most of the human attacks I've read about have happened to joggers or cyclists on isolated trails. They get jumped from behind, and the cougar has a hold of their head or neck. These predators know how to kill. Silent. From behind. Pounce. Suffocate the victim, just like they would any other animal. I remember one story where a woman's husband had been attacked, and she had to keep beating on the big cat to get it to release his bite. It didn't just run off at her presence.

So, it comes as no surprise to me that we read of an Alberta, Canada, cougar attack. A man was walking his dog in Canmore, Alberta, and his dog was ambushed by a cougar. Same set up. Rural area. Silent attack. Cougar has the dog by the head. According to the news story...

So, for me, there are several lessons. First, you need to be alert when walking in cougar country. Just because you can't hear the animal doesn't mean it isn't stalking you. Second, you need a weapon that you could use to scare it off. I'd suggest an air horn, pepper spray and a gun. The problem with the gun is all those silly laws that make it illegal to carry a gun in government owned parks. All because of foolish assumptions about gun safety. Third, you need to allow cougars to be hunted with dogs. Dogs are the only effective way of locating and treeing a menacing cougar. You don't have to kill it, if that is your wish, but you do need to find it, and we have no good substitute for dogs. Fourth, we need to fight back against stupid regulations by do-gooders. That means gun control laws and restrictions on the use of hunting dogs. You can't legislate the laws of the jungle. And fifth, you need to be prepared to fight off the cougar if it attacks.

This guy is just lucky he had dogs with him on his walk. If he had been alone, he might have been the victim and this would not have had a happy ending.

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