Friday, January 09, 2009

Maybe it's not just the Bears I should be worried about.

The Ontario Puma Association.....nope, not a joke. I did a double take when I read this one, but it's true. There numbers, near extinction at the turn of the century, are now on the climb and if the the map of sightings is accurate they may be coming to a back country campground near you.

The Puma weighs between 140 and 220 lbs and can reach lenghts in excess of 2 meters (including tale).

Despite their menacing appearance there have been relatively few attacks. From the Ontario Puma Association website...

"In the past 110 years in North America, humans have encountered Pumas 66 times, resulting in injuries 59 times, 15 were fatal. Excluding cases where people were killed by captive Pumas and cases where people intentionally approached or harassed a wild Puma, the attacks drop to 54, injuries to 48, and fatalities to 9 times.

In the last 30 years, there have been 10 deaths due to Puma attacks. Five occurred in British Columbia, two in California, and one each in Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico. Almost half of the Puma attacks in the past 100 years occurred in the 90’s."

They considered a seclusive creature and an encounter is considered VERY rare. That said, now I have two animals to let my imagination run wild on while in the park at night. "Was that a branch, a Puma or a Bear?.....please let it be a branch!" lol

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have seen cougars in Ontario twice now and only my buddy that was with me the one time believes me. I spent 25 years as a professional fishing and hunting guide for lodges in the north so I know what a Lynx and other animals look like.

In 1983, I saw a cougar run across the trans Canada highway between Sudbury and North Bay. In 1998, I saw a mother and two kittens feeding on a dead Porcupine on KC 16 (Kimberly Clark Logging Road) between Longlac and Nakina.

There are Cougars in Ontario and they are breeding. I live in Southern Ontario now and in the last 5 years, I have see black Bears, Fishers, Beavers, Pine Martens and Otters, which I have never seen before this far south. We even saw a family of Otters on Pigeon Lake while Musky near in Bobcaygeaon. The fall of the fur trade is really making a difference.