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They often follow prints in the snow or use dogs to track the big cats before they are shot with guns or bows. Last month, outdoor television host Steve Ecklund's cougar hunt led to online threats and criticisms — including a penis comment from Laureen Harper, wife of former prime minister Stephen Harper — after he bragged about it on social media. Similar outrage followed the killing of No. Scientists say a cultural divide still exists — even within their own community — about hunting large carnivores. Alberta has regulated its cougar population since
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When living or engaging in recreational activity such as hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, horse-back riding in cougar country, the best way to prevent a conflict with a cougar is to take a few extra precautions:.
Be aware of your surroundings i. Where possible, place livestock in enclosed sheds or barns at night. Pick up small children or pets that are with you.
Protecting livestock While some livestock growers lose an occasional animal to cougars, the s are quite small. Taking simple precautions in cougar country can easily prevent conflicts. Understanding cougars and their habits, along with recognizing that they are our wild neighbors is the first step toward co-existing with them.
Synchronize the birth of calves and lambs with native prey deer and elk births. Keep your dog on a leash 6 feet long or less.
Do not approach the cougar. While some livestock growers lose an occasional animal to cougars, the s are quite small. Donkeys, llamas, and certain breeds of dogs have been known to successfully guard livestock. Keep small pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs inside or in a secure enclosure that is covered on top. If there are cubs, be careful not to get between them and their mother.
People have stopped attacks by hitting the cougar with sticks, their hands, baseball caps, and garden tools. Minimize brush and cover in your yard that can provide hiding places for cougars. Simply seeing a cougar, or s that a cougar was in the area, is not reason for alarm. Cougars pose only a small risk to pets, but those risks can be minimized with some common sense and preventative measures:.
If the cougar displays aggressive behavior try to appear larger—raise your arms or open your jacket over your head. If a cougar attacks In the very rare event that you are attacked by a cougar, fight back in any way that you can. State wildlife management agencies and the U. But because killing cougars disrupts their social structure and may exacerbate conflicts with humans and livestock, it is not a viable solution. However, the risk of contracting rabies from a cougar is very small; there has only been one recorded incident of an attack on a person by a rabid cougar.
What to do about cougars. Running will provoke the predatory chasing behavior of cougars, as it would with other predators such as bears, coyotes, and wolves. The population decline is due to the impact of extensive hunting and predator control, in addition to continued habitat loss and fragmentation.
Recreation in cougar country When living or engaging in recreational activity such as hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, horse-back riding in cougar country, the best way to prevent a conflict with a cougar is to take a few extra precautions: Take a friend with you; avoid venturing into cougar country alone.
There are no repellents that have been registered for use on cougars, but the pepper capsaicin sprays sold to deter attacks by dogs, bears, and people or even a fire extinguisher may be effective. Seal open areas under structures like porches, sheds and decks that can provide shelter for cougars or their prey. In the very rare event that you are attacked by a cougar, fight back in any way that you can.
Fence in your livestock to keep them contained. Your yard need not be completely barren, but it shouldn't include dense underbrush that would allow a cougar to hide undetected. Trim vegetation around your house to avoid providing concealment for cougars as they rely on cover to ambush their prey.
Wash trash cans to avoid attracting potential prey species such as raccoons. Walk with children between two adults or hold them by the hand.
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Keep small livestock such as chickens in secure enclosures that are covered on top, making sure that these enclosures are also secured against intrusions from wildlife like raccoons that might attract cougars. Make noise by yelling, blowing a whistle or an air horn. Protecting pets Cougars pose only a small risk to pets, but those risks can be minimized with some common sense and preventative measures: Keep cats indoors and always supervise small pets when outside, especially from dusk to dawn. Walk your dog on a leash 6 feet long or less. Bring along a whistle or an air horn that could help scare away wild animals you may encounter.
Killing cougars does nothing to prevent future cougar attacks or make people and livestock safer; however, employing common sense precautions makes all the difference. Cougars are secretive and rarely seen, adapting even to extensive human encroachment into their territories. Once robust, populations of cougars also known as mountain lions or pumas have declined drastically across most of their range in the Americas.
Store trash in clean, well-secured containers.
Install lighting or motion-sensor lighting in dark areas around the home to deter cougars and other wildlife. Cougars are killed as trophy animals in nearly every state where they are found. If you have an umbrella, quickly open and close it while facing the cougar. Be aware that cougars can jump 18 feet, so most fences will not protect unsupervised pets outside.
Still, there are measures that you can take to reduce this risk: Keep livestock in pastures away from ambush cover such as shrubs. If you live in or near cougar habitat, making a few changes to your landscape and your behavior can ificantly reduce your chances of drawing in unwanted wild visitors—not only cougars, but also bears, coyotes, and wolves.
What to do about cougars
Still, there are measures that you can take to reduce this risk:. Consider using a guard animal especially for larger properties. Why killing doesn't solve conflicts with cougars Cougars are killed as trophy animals in nearly every state where they are found. Many more livestock are lost every year to weather, birthing problems, theft, or disease rather than to predation by cougars.