cougar

Nice kitty. Please. Pic courtesy US Fish & Wildlife, through Creative Commons

Before we wade into the discussion of the beautiful, powerful creatures known as pumas or mountain lions or cougars, we should first acknowledge that it would be absolutely terrifying to be stalked or pounced by a wild cat that large, strong, and clever.

As you've probably heard by now, a cougar attacked and killed a 55-year-old woman named Diana Bober last week in Mt. Hood National Forest. Wildlife agency officials are debating whether to kill more cougars, given that this is the second cougar-caused death in Pacific Northwest hiking areas in 2018 after a similarly frightening event in Washington State.

Opinions are mixed within the Mount Hood community. Many people live and recreate on Mount Hood to be near nature, and they love the idea of wilderness. But an ambush predator with a devastating neck-bite for its first move? That might be a little too wild. Especially for folks with kids and pets to care for.