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Pumas can probably swim 1.25 miles to islands


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Home Forums Campfire On the Web Pumas can probably swim 1.25 miles to islands

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  • #3775886
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Backpacking on some islands, you might believe you are safe from pumas / mountain lions / cougars. Think again.

    “The animals can swim even farther at times, perhaps close to a mile and a quarter [2 km]. Young male mountain lions often undertake difficult and long journeys in search of new territory.”

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/mountain-lions-cougars-can-swim-long-distances

    Fear not. Puma attacks in North America are pretty rare, and they don’t like to be around noisy humans.

    If confronted, don’t run. Make yourself look bigger. Stay together and back away. Pick up small children and animals.

    — Rex

    #3775887
    MJ H
    BPL Member

    @mjh

    I don’t know about islands, but someone in a nearby suburb (outside Pittsburgh) on NextDoor says they saw a mountain lion take a deer in their yard earlier this week.  Personally, I have my doubts.

    #3775935
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    It’s interesting that mountain lions are good swimmers, but I find the idea that people would deliberately hike on islands to avoid mountain lions to be a little strange, they don’t seem to pose much of a threat to hikers/backpackers in my experience.

    I don’t know how many mountain lions we have in my town, but it’s a LOT. I see signs of them pretty frequently when hiking local trails, and every year a few of them wander into town or are caught on security cameras. Now and then, one gets a taste for pet dogs, and becomes a real problem. However, I have only seen a mountain lion with my own eyes one time in 20+ years, and that was at a distance, it was chasing a deer across a gully. I’m sure they are seeing me, but I don’t see them, which tells me a lot about their personality. Maybe this is a “familiarity breeds contempt” scenario, but I have very little concern about them when backpacking in the Colorado high country.

    I’m just happy that we don’t have grizzlies.

    #3775999
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    In my neck of the woods, where a few dozen pumas are surrounded by civilization and inbreeding is a serious concern, they are everywhere. In about three years of backyard game camera recording, I found 6 cougars, about 15 feet from my office window, and I’ve seen two in the wild. Co-workers who worked late saw them in town, in a large field behind work, a few times every year.

    So I always laugh when the media hypes a puma sighting in the region. I worry about tick bites far, far more than mountain lions. If the infections don’t get you then the antibiotics will.

    Several people I know are scared of large predators. They are the ones who might choose to camp on an island for safety. Even with swimming cougars, you are probably much more likely to drown on the boat trip (still quite rare if alcohol isn’t involved) than get attacked by a puma.

    — Rex

    #3776028
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    We paddle to camp on inland islands at times on the assumption that a bear is probably not going to swim out to check out our food.  It certainly isn’t on its regular route so if we keep a clean camp, maybe it never bothers to check.

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