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gpburdelljr
09-13-2018, 15:25
https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/09/hunt_for_killer_cougar_in_oreg.html

Berserker
09-14-2018, 10:12
What I found interesting in that article is that it insinuates that they don't know for 100% sure it was a cougar, but yet they are currently out hunting and will kill all cougars in the area hoping the DNA of one of them matches the DNA of the suspected cougar that attacked the woman. Am I missing something here? Seems like a knee jerk reaction considering they apparently don't have all the facts. Either the article is inaccurate or they are jumping the gun.

My condolences go out to the victim's family.

HooKooDooKu
09-14-2018, 10:19
What I found interesting in that article is that it insinuates that they don't know for 100% sure it was a cougar, but yet they are currently out hunting and will kill all cougars in the area hoping the DNA of one of them matches the DNA of the suspected cougar that attacked the woman. Am I missing something here? Seems like a knee jerk reaction considering they apparently don't have all the facts. Either the article is inaccurate or they are jumping the gun.

My condolences go out to the victim's family.
From the point of view of public safety... no they are not jumping the gun.
If they wait to hunt for the cougar, it's more likely the cougar "will get away". The article already explains holding any cougar they might capture is not practical, and cougars are not an endangered species. When you then add that cougars don't exactly live in dense populations, it makes sense that in trying to protect the public, they would kill any cougar in the area until they find the (likely) cougar responsible.

Berserker
09-14-2018, 10:31
From the point of view of public safety... no they are not jumping the gun.
If they wait to hunt for the cougar, it's more likely the cougar "will get away". The article already explains holding any cougar they might capture is not practical, and cougars are not an endangered species. When you then add that cougars don't exactly live in dense populations, it makes sense that in trying to protect the public, they would kill any cougar in the area until they find the (likely) cougar responsible.
Ok, I'll buy that. I don't know a lot about cougars, but the fact that they are not endangered I reckon makes this ok...I guess. Only thing that still bothers me about it is that they suspect it was a cougar. I'm sure they have a pretty high confidence level from the injuries that it was a cougar, but killing cougars based on circumstantial evidence and not factual evidence still seems a little dicey in my opinion. But again, I don't know much about cougars, so maybe this is the typical response on the West coast to a suspected cougar attack.

JPritch
09-14-2018, 13:30
This seems to happen a lot after bear attacks. And from my memory, it seems they rarely get the actual bear involved in the attack, and some innocent bear gets 86'd.

HooKooDooKu
09-14-2018, 14:05
... killing cougars based on circumstantial evidence and not factual evidence still seems a little dicey in my opinion...
Sounds like their evidence is a bit stronger than "I think it MIGHT have been a cougar", but not quite strong enough to say "here's the proof it was a cougar".

And JPritch is correct about the assessment of bears... except I wouldn't say "rarely get the actual bear"... but he's definitely right that additional "innocent" bears get killed in the process.
As an example, if I recall correctly, I teenager was attacked in GSMNP while sleeping in a hammock a few years ago... at least two bears were shot and killed before the park service knew they had killed the "correct" bear.

Time Zone
09-14-2018, 14:30
As an example, if I recall correctly, I teenager was attacked in GSMNP while sleeping in a hammock a few years ago... at least two bears were shot and killed before the park service knew they had killed the "correct" bear.

If you're thinking about the father-son team from Ohio in 2015, the kid wasn't killed, but was mauled pretty skillfully. Dad fought off the bear, they hiked out, and the kid survived.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/teen-details-moment-bear-pulled-hammock-head/story?id=31673101

Your broader point is fair, though.

Time Zone
09-14-2018, 14:32
Ah, my bad. Read that wrong - you only said a couple bears were killed (rather, two). Sorry 'bout that!

gpburdelljr
09-14-2018, 14:54
....... the kid wasn't killed, but was mauled pretty skillfully......
I assume “skillful” was some kind of autocorrect, but if not, what is a “skillful” mauling.

HooKooDooKu
09-14-2018, 15:45
Yea, the point about the Ohio father-son story was that there was only one bear that attacked, but at least two bears were killed... obviously one of the two bears was "innocent". I'm sure there's other similar stories when the park service has determined that a "problem bear" needed to be put down.


And unless something changes in the current story, the only recorded fatal bear attack in GSMNP so far is the lady that was killed in 2000 in the Elkmont area of the back country.

Maineiac64
09-14-2018, 19:01
a lot of innocent bears are killed by hunters each year, so they aren’t going to worry about an extra bear or two when it comes to public safety. They could tranquilizer them though.

MuddyWaters
09-14-2018, 19:07
The park killed two when the AT hiker in tent was attacked and bitten a couple years ago.
DNA showed neither was guilty.

gpburdelljr
09-14-2018, 19:24
This thread is about a possible cougar attack.
The thread about a possible bear attack is here:
https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/130713-Bear-Euthanized-in-GSMNP-After-Body-of-Missing-Hiker-Found/page3

MuddyWaters
09-14-2018, 19:49
This thread is about a possible cougar attack.
The thread about a possible bear attack is here:
https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/130713-Bear-Euthanized-in-GSMNP-After-Body-of-Missing-Hiker-Found/page3
Its called thread drift...
But the line is about killing animals that were innocent. Bears just examples.

gpburdelljr
09-14-2018, 20:08
Its called thread drift...
But the line is about killing animals that were innocent. Bears just examples.
I know what thread drift is, but if people want to change the subject they should start a new thread. The title of this thread isn’t Killing Animals that are ‘Innocent’. Feel free to start one.

MuddyWaters
09-14-2018, 20:25
I know what thread drift is, but if people want to change the subject they should start a new thread. The title of this thread isnít Killing Animals that are ĎInnocentí. Feel free to start one.

And this has nothing to do with appalachian trail, nor was it in the straight forward forum

gpburdelljr
09-14-2018, 20:43
And this has nothing to do with appalachian trail, nor was it in the straight forward forum

Whoops, I put it in the General forum, thinking that was for general non trail specific topics. I still think people should stay on topic, especially when it is easy enough to start a thread specifically about a topic they are interested in, rather than going off topic. But, I suppose some people are incapable of staying on topic.

To get back on topic, does anyone have any comments about the possible cougar attack (not bear attacks, or attacks by any other animals).

Five Tango
09-14-2018, 21:26
Here's a comment-If the biker or the hiker had carried some sort of weapon there is a good chance they would have survived.My 4 inch Mora does not weigh much and might have fit the bill.So the question in my mind is "why would anyone go out in cougar country totally defenseless?"

TNhiker
09-14-2018, 21:31
Here's a comment-If the biker or the hiker had carried some sort of weapon there is a good chance they would have survived.My 4 inch Mora does not weigh much and might have fit the bill.So the question in my mind is "why would anyone go out in cougar country totally defenseless?"




How you know that she wasn't carrying a weapon?

MuddyWaters
09-14-2018, 21:49
Whoops, I put it in the General forum, thinking that was for general non trail specific topics. I still think people should stay on topic, especially when it is easy enough to start a thread specifically about a topic they are interested in, rather than going off topic. But, I suppose some people are incapable of staying on topic.

To get back on topic, does anyone have any comments about the possible cougar attack (not bear attacks, or attacks by any other animals).
Backpackers arent usually attacked.
Cats attack stealthily from behind, and go for the neck of their prey
Most efficient energy expenditure for predator.
The typical pack, prevents the cat from seeing hikers necks

Dayhikers and UL hikers with tiny packs, may not be so fortunate.

Five Tango
09-14-2018, 21:51
How you know that she wasn't carrying a weapon?

Actually,I do not know that she wasn't carrying a weapon.However,I do know that here in Georgia in the last 6 months there was a rabid coyote killed by a hiker with a pocket knife and somebody's granny in North Georgia literally strangled a rabid bob cat that attacked her.Therefore,I have drawn the conclusion the hiker either did not have any effective means of self defense or perhaps no means of self defense at all as so many hikers I know carry absolutely nothing for self defense.Having seen a really large bob cat a couple times,I can't bring myself to join the "no weapons" club.

MuddyWaters
09-14-2018, 22:06
Actually,I do not know that she wasn't carrying a weapon.However,I do know that here in Georgia in the last 6 months there was a rabid coyote killed by a hiker with a pocket knife and somebody's granny in North Georgia literally strangled a rabid bob cat that attacked her.Therefore,I have drawn the conclusion the hiker either did not have any effective means of self defense or perhaps no means of self defense at all as so many hikers I know carry absolutely nothing for self defense.Having seen a really large bob cat a couple times,I can't bring myself to join the "no weapons" club.

Not quite the same as 120-150 lb cougar landing on your back suddenly, knocking you to ground, and clamping its jaws into your neck before you know whats happened. Then its going to shake you to break your neck.

Not simple to attack something on your back when your face down .

TNhiker
09-14-2018, 22:17
Actually,I do not know that she wasn't carrying a weapon.However,I do know that here in Georgia in the last 6 months there was a rabid coyote killed by a hiker with a pocket knife and somebody's granny in North Georgia literally strangled a rabid bob cat that attacked her.Therefore,I have drawn the conclusion the hiker either did not have any effective means of self defense or perhaps no means of self defense at all as so many hikers I know carry absolutely nothing for self defense.Having seen a really large bob cat a couple times,I can't bring myself to join the "no weapons" club.



Did you read the article from the link the OP posted?

said that she fought her attacker.....

Five Tango
09-15-2018, 08:28
Did you read the article from the link the OP posted?

said that she fought her attacker.....
Yes,I read it.It said she fought but that does not mean she fought with anything more than bare hands.Look,I am sorry this happened and a lady died.My only point is that people should at least consider carrying something with them in the event they should need it.So many people I know carry nothing at all.

Five Tango
09-15-2018, 08:44
Not quite the same as 120-150 lb cougar landing on your back suddenly, knocking you to ground, and clamping its jaws into your neck before you know whats happened. Then its going to shake you to break your neck.


Not simple to attack something on your back when your face down .
I thot you said in post #20 that backpacks protect hikers necks?So I am left to conclude that it was a frontal assault since there was evidence she fought back.We don't know if she had a weapon for self defense or not or if she had time to use it.It was a tragedy and my heart goes out to her loved ones.I only commented because people need to consider what preparations they might make should they find themselves in similar circumstances.

MuddyWaters
09-15-2018, 08:53
I thot you said in post #20 that backpacks protect hikers necks?So I am left to conclude that it was a frontal assault since there was evidence she fought back.We don't know if she had a weapon for self defense or not or if she had time to use it.It was a tragedy and my heart goes out to her loved ones.I only commented because people need to consider what preparations they might make should they find themselves in similar circumstances.

She dayhiker most likely
Found 2 mi from her car

Not a backpacker

Backpackers have an inherent deterent to attack
Because cat cannot see their neck from behind

While it certainly could happen
Predators do not normally attack prey head on

They live by expending minimum energy, because many pursuits are fruitless. In many cases, the prey is faster or more agile or can run farther and predator loses a drawn out pursuit.

Which is why surprise attack from blind area is method.

rickb
09-15-2018, 09:55
Here's a comment-If the biker or the hiker had carried some sort of weapon there is a good chance they would have survived.My 4 inch Mora does not weigh much and might have fit the bill.So the question in my mind is "why would anyone go out in cougar country totally defenseless?"

The number of cougar attacks is relatively small:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America

Seems like a disproportionate number of the attacks were perpetrated against children or women (who might be assumed to be of relatively small stature), with recent attacks on a couple of mountain bikers being noteworthy.

Your point on not being defenseless is well taken, however. There are other risks to be considered as well.

Five Tango
09-15-2018, 10:05
The number of cougar attacks is relatively small:



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America

Seems like a disproportionate number of the attacks were perpetrated against children or women (who might be assumed to be of relatively small stature), with recent attacks on a couple of mountain bikers being noteworthy.

Your point on not being defenseless is well taken, however. There are other risks to be considered as well.
Maybe I am hyper sensitive to the personal defense issue since a high school class mate of mine was murdered on a trail in Georgia.(not the AT btw)Bad things happen to good people all the time.

rickb
09-15-2018, 10:16
Maybe I am hyper sensitive to the personal defense issue since a high school class mate of mine was murdered on a trail in Georgia.(not the AT btw)Bad things happen to good people all the time.

Agree 100%.

With regard to the AT, more thru hikers have died at the hand of a complete stranger (5 or 6) than from lightening, snakes, bears, hypothermia , drowning, or falls combined.

It has always stuck me as odd why so many look to understand and mitigate the risk of the latter, but wish to deny and ignore the risk (small though it may be) of the former.

zelph
09-15-2018, 14:32
In other countries a mask is worn as a deter ant:

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https://jitendrakatha.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/article-2429236-182ccb2700000578-961_634x429.jpg

somers515
09-15-2018, 15:03
Agree 100%.

With regard to the AT, more thru hikers have died at the hand of a complete stranger (5 or 6) than from lightening, snakes, bears, hypothermia , drowning, or falls combined.

It has always stuck me as odd why so many look to understand and mitigate the risk of the latter, but wish to deny and ignore the risk (small though it may be) of the former.

I agree the risk is overall low and while you might be technically correct since you limit your assertion to AT thru-hiking, I believe those other threats you listed overall are a higher threat to backpackers: https://www.backpacker.com/survival/a-dozen-ways-to-die.

Also remember that being active is a lot safer then sitting on your couch every day or spending your days driving around in a car, so factor that in as well. I for one, try to understand and mitigate all the risks of any activity I'm doing but I certainly won't let the risks keep me doing stuff.

Finally I believe your main point is learn or think about self-defense and I certainly don't disagree with you on that!

JPritch
09-15-2018, 15:07
I'm loving those masks! Great idea. What is the predator they are doing this for I'm curious?

I'd love to see this on the AT. The trail names would be fun!

Two Face
Big Brother
Kris Kross
...

grubbster
09-15-2018, 16:14
I'm loving those masks! Great idea. What is the predator they are doing this for I'm curious?
Two Face
Big Brother
Kris Kross
...
I have seen these before. They are in India I believe and they critter would be a tiger.

zelph
09-15-2018, 16:47
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzgBeH5fay0" target="_blank">
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzgBeH5fay0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzgBeH5fay0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzgBeH5fay0)


FOR the moment, the Bengal tiger has met its match in the two-faced human.
That finding was a matter of life or death in an experiment being conducted in the Ganges Delta in India, where tigers living under protection in a reserve had been killing about 60 people a year.
Arguing that this predator only attacks people from behind, workers in the mangrove forests started wearing face masks on the backs of their heads. Thus far the trick appears to have worked.
''For the past three years, no one wearing a mask has been killed,'' said Peter Jackson, chairman of the cat specialist group of the World Conservation Union. ''Tigers have been seen following people wearing the mask, but they have not attacked.''
By contrast, 29 people who were not wearing the masks were killed there in the last 18 months, officials reported.
Mr. Jackson, who was in Rome for a meeting of the conservation union's Species Survival Commission last month, brought an example of the trick that fooled the tiger: an inexpensive, rubber mask of a pale-faced human with a thin mustache. He said the Indian Forestry Service has issued more than 2,500 masks to workers who are among the 8,000 who get permits to go into the Sundarban Tiger Reserve. Stopping to Pray
Continue reading the main story (https://www.nytimes.com/1989/09/05/science/face-masks-fool-the-bengal-tigers.html#story-continues-2)




No one lives in the reserve of mangrove forests, cut by rivers and creeks on the border of Bangladesh and India, said Mr. Jackson, who knows the area well. But people on both sides go in to collect fish, wild honey and wood in the tigers' habitat.

Often they first stop to pray for protection at little shrines that rim the area because the large Bengal tigers are unusually fierce. While tigers elsewhere often ignore humans, the Sundarban big cat may attack on sight. Local people tell stories of how the tigers even swim out and sneak up on fishermen in their boats.
Since 1973, when the reserve was formed, scientists and forestry workers have tried to find ways to coexist peacefully with the 500 or so tigers and to stop them from thinking of humans as easy prey. They have put up human-shaped dummies of bamboo and mud, dressed in clothes with human scent and attached to electric wires, for example. Fences have been wired, and the tigers have been heard to scream from the electric shocks.
But it was a student at the Science Club of Calcutta who came up with the idea of using a human mask. The reasoning, Mr. Jackson explained, was that many species use a similar technique to fool predators. ''Butterflies, beetles, caterpillars have developed patterns that look like big eyes,'' he said. ''We know that this is a deterrent.''
Some local residents are said to be skeptical and argue that the clever tigers cannot be fooled for long. The director of the reserve has said he is worried because some men let the mask slip to the top of their head while chopping wood.
Among this year's victims, he wrote to the commission, were two fishermen who left their masks in their boats as they went ashore to cook their meal. One woodcutter was attacked from behind by a tiger when he sat down and took off his mask for lunch.

GruJL
09-17-2018, 07:57
The number of cougar attacks is relatively small:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_cougar_attacks_in_North_America

...with recent attacks on a couple of mountain bikers being noteworthy.

It should be noted, since it was noteworthy, that the cougar does not have the capacity to recognize gender in the modern sense of the term.

rickb
09-17-2018, 10:55
It should be noted, since it was noteworthy, that the cougar does not have the capacity to recognize gender in the modern sense of the term.

Of course not.

Cougars probably canít determine peopleís age, either.

But would you not agree that the size (or apparent size) of the potential prey matters?

GruJL
09-17-2018, 11:14
Of course not.

Cougars probably can’t determine people’s age, either.

But would you not agree that the size (or apparent size) of the potential prey matters?

Yes. And in that case I would actually have thought the victim's size would have mattered (I think they were around 200lbs). It still does make it less of an unusual case and sort of a better fit to the normal profile.

BuckeyeBill
09-17-2018, 13:08
It should be noted, since it was noteworthy, that the cougar does not have the capacity to recognize gender in the modern sense of the term.

Is it possible that like most other animals, the cougar can associate certain odors/pheromones to different genders? I do know in the human species certain pheromones are released by bit genders during sexual acts that tell each participant that mating, for the lack of a better term, is allowed.

HooKooDooKu
09-17-2018, 13:18
It should be noted, since it was noteworthy, that the cougar does not have the capacity to recognize gender in the modern sense of the term.
What did I miss?

I don't see what gender has to do with cougar attacks.

rickb
09-17-2018, 16:43
What did I miss?

I don't see what gender has to do with cougar attacks.

Probably my fault for suggesting that size matters in an earlier post.


* Children are small (and were disproportionately represented on the list of victims)

* Men are big (and seemed to be under represented)

* Woman are somewhere in between (and were arguably overrepresented on the list of victims)

* A man crouched over to work on his bike looks small (but is an anecdote on the list)


Hopefully no large women or small men have been offended by my generalizations.

HooKooDooKu
09-17-2018, 17:43
Probably my fault for suggesting that size matters in an earlier post.


* Children are small (and were disproportionately represented on the list of victims)

* Men are big (and seemed to be under represented)

* Woman are somewhere in between (and were arguably overrepresented on the list of victims)

Looking at the Wiki article linked earlier on this page (from 70's to present), it seems like the number of "men" victims is about equivalent to the number of "women" victims.
There doesn't seem to be a significant statistical difference until you compare "children" to either "men" or "women".
So with an equal number of men v women victims, it doesn't seem to make sense to claim men being under represented, or women being over represented; and therefore doesn't seem to make any sense to argue if cougars can make tell the difference between males v females.

(Not being argumentative... I just feel like I'm missing something since the list of victims doesn't seem to match what everyone is talking about).

rickb
09-17-2018, 18:40
Looking at the Wiki article linked earlier on this page (from 70's to present), it seems like the number of "men" victims is about equivalent to the number of "women" victims.
There doesn't seem to be a significant statistical difference until you compare "children" to either "men" or "women".
So with an equal number of men v women victims, it doesn't seem to make sense to claim men being under represented, or women being over represented; and therefore doesn't seem to make any sense to argue if cougars can make tell the difference between males v females.

(Not being argumentative... I just feel like I'm missing something since the list of victims doesn't seem to match what everyone is talking about).

Good point.

Of all those whose age was identified:

4 Male
6 Female
14 Children

Small sample, and it is possible that women spend more time in cougar country as well.

nsherry61
09-17-2018, 22:06
. . . and it is possible that women spend more time in cougar country as well.
Yes, but women are less likely, not more likely to participate in outdoor activities than men (55% of women vs. 65% of men). Therefore, if we correct for the likely male vs. female exposure to cougars, the observed difference, in this admittedly small sample size, would suggest that there is even more difference between men and women that the data suggest.

MuddyWaters
09-17-2018, 22:15
Good point.

Of all those whose age was identified:

4 Male
6 Female
14 Children

Small sample, and it is possible that women spend more time in cougar country as well.

Children are:

A. Least aware of surroundings and danger
B. Slowest runners
C. Tastiest
D. All of the above

C4web88
09-18-2018, 00:00
Children are:

A. Least aware of surroundings and danger
B. Slowest runners
C. Tastiest
D. All of the above

You ain't right man hahahaha.

Shutterbug
09-18-2018, 11:36
Good point.

Of all those whose age was identified:

4 Male
6 Female
14 Children

Small sample, and it is possible that women spend more time in cougar country as well.

I don't know why cougars attack some people and not others. The sample size is probably too small to draw any conclusions. My own experience is limited, but it is probably relevant. I have encountered cougars a number of times. Most of the time, it is only to see them running away. I feel blessed to see more than a fleeting view.

Only one time have I been stalked. My wife and I were hiking in Roxbourough State Park near Denver. I noticed a slight movement in the rock formation above our heads. When I looked closer, I saw that it was the tail of a full grown cougar. It was on some rocks overlooking the trail where he could have pounced on us. When we stopped and "looked big" -- (raised our hiking polls above our heads to present the largest profile possible), it backed off. We continued our hike, but every few minutes we would spot the cougar looking at us. It was always farther up the mountain and higher than we were. After about 20 minutes, we decided that we had hiked enough and returned to our vehicle. I never really felt threatened, but it does make one uneasy to know a big cat is watching you.

Over the years there have been a number of cougar incidents in the same area. Here is a story of one of them -- https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/11/i-fought-off-mountain-lion-experience