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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When in Puma Country, in our Western States, Western Canada and Florida, stand your ground when you come face to face with a Puma!...........That is exactly what two hikers in Sequoia National Park(California) and a Wildlife Photographer on Vancouver Island(Canada) did over the past year when coming up on our "Big Cat" on their respective hiking trails..............In both instances(two videos for you to watch by clicking on links below), the Pumas intently watched the humans but did not charge or attack them..............By not running, the people did not act like Deer or Elk and set off the chase response by the Puma...............In both instances, the Pumas ultimately gave ground and disappeared back into the woods............Well done by the humans,,,,,,,,,,,,,Well done by the Pumas...............We are not a first choice dinner item entree for Pumas unless we act scared and flee like their first choice meals---Elk and Deer.


WATCH: Canadian outdoorsman's hour-long standoff with a cougar

WATCH: Canadian outdoorsman's hour-long standoff with a cougar
BY iAN dICKINSON; MARCH 08 2018It takes a fair share of moxie to stand your ground in the presence of predators, but experience was on the side of outdoorsman Adam Bartsch when he recently found himself in a staring contest with a cougar on a Canadian wildlife trail.

Bartsch was setting up wildlife cameras and collecting shed deer-antlers north of the Campbell River on Vancouver Island when he realised he was being watched by a sizeable mountain lion. "There is a monster, monster tom [male cougar] at 20 metres looking at me," Bartsch says in the video. "And no, I don't have a gun. I have nothing. And he is huge.

The tense standoff lasted for over an hour before the cat finally slinked off into the woods. Off camera, Bartsch made numerous attempts to scare the puma off by throwing rocks and sticks in its direction, however, the persistent animal kept coming back.

The cougar was likely more curious than hungry, explained the outdoorsman’s wife Chantelle Bartsch who teaches bear and cougar safety courses. "It was [Adam's] luck for the day that the cat was only out for some stardom, and wasn't out for his lunch," she told a local news outlet.
The cougar’s unusual curiosity may be an indication that the cat has become too accustomed to human presence. Habituated animals can become “bold or inquisitive and may be encountered at close proximity”, say Parks Canada. These animals can become a threat to human safety and it’s important to remain at a safe distance.

Vancouver Island is prime cougar territory and encounters like this are a reminder to those exploring the area to always remain vigilant and keep your distance should you encounter a wild predator. Some commenters online have criticised Bartsch for remaining in the area for too long, however, the avid outdoorsman felt confident that he was never in any real danger.
According to Parks Canada, in the event of a cougar encounter, it’s important not to run, to maintain eye contact with the cat, wave your arms and shout to make yourself appear larger, and back away slowly if the cougar holds your stare.

Watch: Trail hike ends in face-to-face meeting with a mountain lion

Watch: Trail hike ends in face-to-face meeting with a mountain lion
BY eARTH tOUCH nEWS; AUGUST 08 2017Standing your ground in the presence of a predator takes some moxie, but a pair of hikers in California handled that situation admirably when a recent trek in Sequoia National Park brought them face to face with a large mountain lion. 
The encounter was filmed by local residents Brian McKinney and Sam Vonderheid on the first day of a lengthy hike along the park's High Sierra Trail. Wildlife officials have commended the duo for keeping calm during the incident.

"The big thing these visitors did right was that they didn't panic and run, even after they were surprised by seeing the mountain lion perched above them," National Parks Service wildlife biologist Daniel Gammons said in a press release. "Probably the most important message to get out to visitors is not to act like prey if they encounter a mountain lion."

According to Vonderheid, the pair were headed towards their designated campsite when the cougar's long tail flicked into view in their path – and while it might look like the men went in for a closer look, he clarifies that the second sighting was unexpected (it's best practice, however, to keep your hands free during such surprise encounters, even though it means forgoing that tempting video footage). 

"We didn't know it was still on the trail when we came around [the corner]," he told KSBW News Channel 8. "And it was. We weren't trying to mess with it... believe me. I'm very risk-averse and did not want to mess with a mountain lion that day."

Mountain lions, also known as pumas or cougars, are known to roam this area, but it's rare to find yourself face to face with one: the cats are famously elusive and tend to stay far out of view. Behind the scenes, however, these predators are fulfilling an important role in local ecosystems by keeping the numbers of other mammals, especially deer, in check.
Experts speculate that this individual may have been hanging out near the trail to guard or finish off a recent kill. 
"We both knew, 'Don't run and try to make loud noises', but when you're actually in the situation, instinct can take over and it's hard to follow what you know is the right thing to do," added McKinney. "I think we did an OK job with just standing our ground and slowly backing up."
A bit shaken by the experience, the men decided to return to another campsite, and after a night's sleep, they continued along the trail the following day – this time without incident.  
"National Parks are wild places, and visitors should always be mindful of their surroundings," says NPS. "For your safety and theirs, do not approach animals, regardless of size. Observe wildlife from a distance, avoid hiking alone, and be sure to tell friends or family your plans and when you plan to return." 

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