Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LIONS AND COUGARS AND BEARS

To follow-up on our last post, regarding the possibility that a wild animal killed Jack Gordon, what about mountain lions? There certainly are mountain lions in the area.  Mountain lions are basically loners, with an individual lion ranging over a territory of many square miles.  Fatal mountain lion attacks are exceedingly rare but not unheard of.  According to Topanga on-line:
"Mountain lion attacks on people have increased dramatically since 1986. For example, in California, there were two fatal attacks in 1890 and 1909, and then no further attacks for 77 years, until 1986. From 1986 through 1995, ten verified attacks occurred, an average rate of one per year. That average rate has continued through 1999. Attacks are now numerous enough that there is a support group for attack victims, called California Lion Awareness (CLAW; Outside, 10/95). Since 1970 there has been an average of 14 cougar attacks per year on people in the entire U.S."
By "increased dramatically" they mean that they are still verrrry rare.
A scientific review of records on attacks by cougars on humans in the United States and Canada from 1890 through 1990 indicated there were 53 cougar attacks on humans during this period. There were nine attacks that resulted in 10 human deaths, and 44 non-fatal attacks.  A striking majority of attacks are on children or slightly built adults, often out hiking or jogging on mountain trails. Mountain lions generally drag their kill to a spot near the attack and remain in the area, often for several days, feeding on the carcass.
We have seen mountain lions in the area. In fact, in 2011 I found the partially decomposed head of a mountain lion while hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  No body- just the head!  Boiled it up, made a nice soup and mounted the skull.
(Just kidding about the soup!)


More harrowing tales of mountain lion attacks, lethal and otherwise.  WARNING- Not for the faint of heart:

List of Confirmed Cougar Attacks In the United States and Canada  1890 - 1990
(six fatal attacks in the U.S. during a century)
List of Confirmed Cougar Attacks In the United States and Canada 1991 - 2000
(five fatal attacks in the U.S. during the decade)
List of Confirmed Cougar Attacks In the United States and Canada 2001 - 2010
(three fatal attacks in the U.S during the decade)
List of Confirmed Cougar Attacks In the United States and Canada 2011 - 2020
(no fatal attacks in the U.S. yet this decade)

4 comments:

  1. Old dead and parched out cougar head soup...Yum yum..

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  2. Just kidding about the yum yum.

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  3. Heh- I just wasn't sure what to serve along with it- a nice arugula salad and some Peruvian Purple potatoes lightly sauteed in garlic butter perhaps...? And a bottle of cabernet, maybe a Chateau d'Puma 1978!

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  4. Is it legal to serve wine with soup?

    ReplyDelete