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  1. #1
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Do cougars attack large, moving objects like us?

    So I was reading this article about a cougar being seen near C.O.D. trail last week, when I thought to myself, "would a cougar really attack someone who looks big, on a big bike, moving at a high rate of speed?"

    Now, I've never encountered a big cat, but I have a hard time believing I'd be attacked while cruising along. Maybe if I stopped to 'shake the dew off of my lily' I'd be worried, but not while riding.

    Do bikers pedaling at a nice rate really seem like moving prey? I have a tendency to think not. Please confirm my sense of well being.

  2. #2
    Nat
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    The Anne Hjelle case back in 2004 had her riding at 15mph, so you're hosed!
    http://www.railriders.com/blog/2010/...n-lion-attack/

  3. #3
    Afric Pepperbird
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    I don't wanna be disemboweled

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    I don't wanna be disemboweled
    Better stick to the bars.

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    it was my understanding that the quick and silent movement triggers their auto-chase instinct which is not a judgment/risk thing, just a reaction. i thought that was the rational behind the guidline to not "not run" if having an encounter. like a shark tasting a surfer, its a behavior move that we, in their environment, get the short end of the stick on...

  6. #6
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    Yes, they do attack large moving objects like us. No, it won't happen to you.

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    . . . I still like my chances against the cougars and bears rather than the cars I encounter on my daily commute.

  8. #8
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    They eat deer, elk, etc. Why not a cyclist?

    I think about this mostly when I'm on a ride by myself, during the climb. ...When my breathing is labored and my movement slow, I wonder how the local wildlife interpret. Some rides, I tend to avoid riding by myself just in case. I saw a black bear on 3corner rock a couple years back, so that's a trail I'd like to have a riding partner on, among others. ;-)

  9. #9
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    From the link above, this is key:
    Coss “found that people who stood still avoided injury only 26 percent of the time. Cougars may view your lack of fight as a sign of vulnerability. Of people who backed away, 39 percent survived unscathed. And of those who booked it, 50 percent escaped without a scratch. In cases where two or more individuals happened upon a mountain lion and booked it, the fastest runner among the two or more escaped without injury 100 percent of the time.”

    Always ride with someone slower than you.

  10. #10
    Green Wrencher
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    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    From the link above, this is key:
    Coss “found that people who stood still avoided injury only 26 percent of the time. Cougars may view your lack of fight as a sign of vulnerability. Of people who backed away, 39 percent survived unscathed. And of those who booked it, 50 percent escaped without a scratch. In cases where two or more individuals happened upon a mountain lion and booked it, the fastest runner among the two or more escaped without injury 100 percent of the time.”

    Always ride with someone slower than you.
    This....

  11. #11
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    Here is an article for ya.
    08 February, 2001. Seattle resident, Jon Nostdal, 52, was attacked at about 9:30 p.m. by a cougar as he rode his bicycle from where he had dinner in Port Alice, British Columbia, on northern Vancouver Island, back to where his tugboat was moored near the town's pulp mill. Nostdal was less than 2 miles (about 3 kilometers) from town when he heard clicking sounds. He thought something was loose in his backpack, but when the clicking sound gradually became louder, Nostdal sensed that something was approaching from behind. Before he could turn around, the cougar jumped him and bit the bunched-up hood of his captain's coat, knocking him to the ground. He realized the noise had been the cat's paws on the pavement. Nostdal fought the cat for what seemed like a few minutes before passerby Elliot Cole, 39, saw the struggle on his way home from the mill. The cougar was behind Nostdal, chewing on his neck, with its claws gripping his head and chest. Cole stopped his truck, yelled at the cat, attacked it with a heavy bag, and then began punching the cougar in the head. But the cougar would not release Nostdal, so he used Nostdal's bicycle and was able to pin the cat with it and free him. He told Nostdal to flee to his truck and "smoked the cougar one more time" with his fist, bouncing the cat's head on the pavement. Then he also ran to his truck and climbed inside. The cougar refused to leave. Only when Cole pulled out to take Nostdal to the hospital, did the cat run out from under the truck and disappear.

    Nostdal was hospitalized at Port Alice Hospital, where he was treated for bites on his head and several lacerations to his face. RCMP Constable Randy Freeborn said wildlife officials believe the cougar was one injured several days previously by a car. It may have been the same one that had confronted a local resident recently and killed several pets. On February 23, a Port Alice resident shot a cougar suspected of being the cat, which attacked Nostdal. Sources: (The Globe and Mail; Canadian Press; 02/09/2001) (Vancouver Sun; Doug Ward; 02/10/2001) (Canada NewsWire; Campbell River Couple Survives Cougar Attack)
    Road bikers are at risk too!
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  12. #12
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    I think it's usually the sick ones that look at us as easy prey, which we pretty much are I would say.

    My 6'5" brother was riding his un-corked loud 300lb XR650R motorcycle, and saw something out of the corner of his eye. Looked back, and there was a cougar taking a swipe at him and missed. He's guessing he was cruising at about 30mph. The day before someone on a moto had there jacket ripped while riding. Rangers went out hunting for it asap.
    Bend, Oregon

  13. #13
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    Well it looks like its time to break out the hockey goalies mask, and chainmail turtleneck!
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  14. #14
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    I've thought about taking my .45 with me when I am out in the middle of nowhere, but really if it's a cougar after you, teeth in your throat will be the first thing you know I'm guessing. Chainmail on the neck and a full face helmet is sounding good!
    Bend, Oregon

  15. #15
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    As already mentioned, bikers have been preyed upon by cougars quite a few times, with a lot of the incidents happening in SoCal.

    Chances are, most of us have already been watched and passed over by kitties quite a few times already. And like thuren said, your chance of seeing or hearing the attack coming is pretty close to zero. I might be a lot more concerned about cougars than bears, but I also know that I'm many times more likely to die in a car accident driving to a trailhead than in a cougar attack on the trail. The risk is real but very small, and not worth staying home over IMO.
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  16. #16
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    I believe they will...

    I regularly ride with a cougar. She is in her mid 50's and I have occasionally seen her stock the young studs that roll up on the trail. She definitely prefers the young strong types over the older guys with the beer guts.

    And I'm pretty sure you wont out run her, she's pretty fast on the trail.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan
    I regularly ride with a cougar. She is in her mid 50's and I have occasionally seen her stock the young studs that roll up on the trail. She definitely prefers the young strong types over the older guys with the beer guts.

    And I'm pretty sure you wont out run her, she's pretty fast on the trail.

    I was waiting for things to go this way.....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mophile
    I was waiting for things to go this way.....
    What makes it really funny...What I said isn't to far from the truth.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  19. #19
    Daniel the Dog
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    Golden Retriever

    I see a Golden Retriever on the trail every time I go riding. She is red and has been known to chase a squirrel. You get killed by a cougar just know it is your time to go....fight like a mother and kiss your butt goodbye. They go for the neck and bite like a pit bull on steroids. I'm more worried about Meth addicts cruising the woods looking for a mark.

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  21. #21
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    First of all a wounded or sick cat is completely unpredictable. Just hope you don't run into one. Secondly, cougars preffer to kill by puncturing the cranium not strangulation. The majority of cat wounds are bite marks on the top and back of the head. Also related claw marks on face, neck and upper body. Due to the structure of the human scull a cougar can't kill by puncturing the brain. That is why most cat attackson humans end up as maulings vs kills.

    Wear a helmet and chain mail and you will be fine.
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  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    I once read a statistic that said, for every time you've seen a cougar; a cougar has seen you 8 times...
    And yes, you will most likely never hear it coming. They allmost allways attack from behind.
    As far as cougars not being able to puncture the skull and kill a human; I'd beg to differ.

    Looks to me like this little guy would also disagree!
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  24. #24
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Was anyone else a tad disappointed when they learned that this photo, which went viral last year, was photoshopped? I thought it was great.



    By the way, I'd love to see one on the trail, from a safe distance. Nat's post about a biker being disemboweled notwithstanding.

  25. #25
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastyNick View Post
    I once read a statistic that said, for every time you've seen a cougar; a cougar has seen you 8 times...
    And yes, you will most likely never hear it coming. They allmost allways attack from behind.
    As far as cougars not being able to puncture the skull and kill a human; I'd beg to differ.

    Looks to me like this little guy would also disagree!
    That pic can't be real. That thing is the size of the sabertooth tiger!

  26. #26
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    I agree, that cat is the size of a tiger, not a cougar.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  27. #27
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    That pic can't be real. That thing is the size of the sabertooth tiger!
    Yes, that does look a little unrealistic.

    By the way, I'd love to see one on the trail, from a safe distance.
    I've only seen one; a medium sized(35-45lbs.) cat that jumped out of the woods on the trail and ran in front of me for about twenty yards. It was getting dark and the animals tend to start moving around at dusk or a little before. I'm sure there are plenty of them around, bears as well. You can see bears fairly regularly, seeing a cougar is uncommon.

  28. #28
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    Cats and dogs on the trail, what's the difference? Just say no in a firm but non aggressive voice and carry some treats with you. They respond well to food. Or maybe give it a blast of water from your water bottle. Cats totally hate getting wet! If you get bit it's probably because you are not a cat person and don't know how to act around unleashed cats.
     
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride_nw View Post
    Cats and dogs on the trail, what's the difference? Just say no in a firm but non aggressive voice and carry some treats with you. They respond well to food. Or maybe give it a blast of water from your water bottle. Cats totally hate getting wet! If you get bit it's probably because you are not a cat person and don't know how to act around unleashed cats.
    I LOL'd.

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    That picture's not fake, per se. The hunter is just kneeling several feet back from the cat, and the picture was made with a wide angle lens, which makes near objects seem bigger, relative to distant objects. The photo also plays with our expectations: we'd expect that guy to be kneeling right next to and holding the cat's head up. Instead, he's sitting several feet back, which makes the cat look ginormous.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastyNick View Post
    snip
    As far as cougars not being able to puncture the skull and kill a human; I'd beg to differ.
    I got it strait from a research biologist on large predators. We were tracking a radio collared deer that was killed by a cougar. Most fatalities due to cat wounds are from secondary wounds not cranial punctures.

    When I was 8 I had an adault lynx approach me. I was cleaning trout on the side of a creek in a wilderness area in MT. It ate all four of my trout then decided it wanted some attention from me. it climbed into my lap and started to very painfully knead my leg. I tried to stop it and it just dug in until I started petting it. Nothing like multiple hypodermic needles in your leg to wake you up. After a while it got board and wandered off. I told my uncle about it and he was very impressed. He said I was very lucky to see it and even luckier it didn't seriously hurt me.

    Wild cats are cool, just don't piss one off.
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  32. #32
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fly Rod View Post
    I got it strait from a research biologist on large predators. We were tracking a radio collared deer that was killed by a cougar. Most fatalities due to cat wounds are from secondary wounds not cranial punctures.

    When I was 8 I had an adault lynx approach me. I was cleaning trout on the side of a creek in a wilderness area in MT. It ate all four of my trout then decided it wanted some attention from me. it climbed into my lap and started to very painfully knead my leg. I tried to stop it and it just dug in until I started petting it. Nothing like multiple hypodermic needles in your leg to wake you up. After a while it got board and wandered off. I told my uncle about it and he was very impressed. He said I was very lucky to see it and even luckier it didn't seriously hurt me.

    Wild cats are cool, just don't piss one off.
    Whoa! Sick!!!

  33. #33
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    Wow. That is an epic story.

  34. #34
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    That picture is probably real. I ran over one last summer near Moab. It was sitting by the side of the road like a deer and then charged the car. It went under the bronco and we felt a couple blips. It was huge. We kept on saying that it was as big as an African Lion. It was unreal
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  35. #35
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovemtnbiking View Post
    That picture is probably real. I ran over one last summer near Moab. It was sitting by the side of the road like a deer and then charged the car. It went under the bronco and we felt a couple blips. It was huge. We kept on saying that it was as big as an African Lion. It was unreal
    You took pics, right?

  36. #36
    Daniel the Dog
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    That is nothing

    A while back I had a cougar come at me. I grabbed it by the scruff and shook it threw times and said, "Bad cat!" It ran up a tree.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    A while back I had a cougar come at me. I grabbed it by the scruff and shook it threw times and said, "Bad cat!" It ran up a tree.
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  38. #38
    The Brutally Handsome
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    One time I was riding a cougar through a blizzard but it died of exposure so I used my lightsaber to cut it open and sleep inside.

  39. #39
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    I can't top the lightsaber story, but my dad sees them regularly in his back yard. He says they eat the cat food that he leaves outside on the porch (he also has a semi stray cat that he feeds but that's another story). Last time I was visiting I made sure to hang out near the back window during the evenings in hopes that I would catch a glimpse. Let me tell you those cats are no joke, I wouldn't say it was the size of an african lion but pretty close. I got some footage on my iphone, it's a little shaky, quite frankly I was a bit scared with nothing but a screen door between us. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
     
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  40. #40
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride_nw View Post
    Ha ha, very funny.

  41. #41
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    meow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Do cougars attack large, moving objects like us?-cougar-bar-pickup.jpg  


  42. #42
    Afric Pepperbird
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    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/O5gldxTmLsQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    Fighting a bear

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/z2XUgE6g7XU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    &#160;
    Sometimes I say stupid things

  44. #44
    my girl rides also
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  45. #45
    Afric Pepperbird
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    The near awesome-ness of this story, is that I was riding on Mrazek, yesterday afternoon!!!! I bet this bugger saw me ride by:

    http://www.ktvz.com/news/28265129/detail.html

    I have this odd sense that I'm seen by a big cat on at least 50% of my rides.

  46. #46
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    The near awesome-ness of this story, is that I was riding on Mrazek, yesterday afternoon!!!! I bet this bugger saw me ride by:

    http://www.ktvz.com/news/28265129/detail.html

    I have this odd sense that I'm seen by a big cat on at least 50% of my rides.
    Wahhhhhhhhh! Hot pee in the chamois!

    How many reported sightings does that make so far this year? Half a dozen? I wonder if there have been more sightings down low because there's so much snow up high and the deer (and other prey animals) have been staying down low?
    Last edited by Nat; 06-17-2011 at 01:17 AM.

  47. #47
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    Interesting! As we headed up to toward Storm King I said to my buddy, I wonder how many coyotes, bear and cougar had seen us ride by. The trails were great by the way! Thanks COTA
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  48. #48
    Daniel the Dog
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    How do you get a video of a cougar attacking skier? Think about it.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    That pic can't be real. That thing is the size of the sabertooth tiger!
    Photo could be real. Just have to line it up well, with the man 5-10 feet behind the cat.
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  50. #50
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    http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_...116144334.html

    I believe they can get that big. Spent the winter in Rossland BC and this story generated a lot of interest with back country skiers.
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