Winner of the Foreword Reviews 2013 Book of the Year Awards.
As cougar attacks on humans become more and more frequent it is essential to understand this fascinating and dangerous predator. Elusive, graceful, powerful. Whether they've seen one in the wild or not, everyone is fascinated by the big cat called cougar, puma, mountain lion and approximately forty other names. But don't let their big size fool you. Olympic class athletes when it comes to jumping, cougars have been observed leaping 5.5 metres straight up from a standstill, 18.5 metres down from a tree and nearly 14 metres horizontally onto their prey. As the biggest feline in Canada, and the second largest in the Americas, the cougar's range stretches from the Yukon to Patagonia. They're found in the untamed backcountry, along the edge of suburban developments and, at times, in such unlikely places as the downtown parking garage of the Empress Hotel in British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria. Once one of the most widely distributed large mammals in the Western Hemisphere, cougar populations were decimated by hunting in many areas. But their numbers are increasing, especially in western Canada and the United States. And cougar encounters are becoming more common. Statistics from the past two hundred years show that nearly half the attacks on humans have occurred since 1990. Paula Wild describes surprisingly frequent urban sightings and the mysterious predatory habits of the cougar, as well as the magical powers attributed to them by First Nations people and the cougar's history as it transitioned from predator to prey during the bounty hunting years. She illuminates their lives in captivity and she delves into the research on the role they play in the delicate balance of our ecosystem.
The Cougar is a skillful blend of natural history, scientific research, First Nations stories and first person accounts. With her in-depth research, Wild explores the relationship between mountain lions and humans, and provides the most up-to-date information on cougar awareness and defence tactics for those living, working or travelling in cougar country. Both feared and admired, cougars are rarely seen, but odds are that a big cat has watched you walk through the woods while you've been totally unaware of its presence. And that's part of what makes the cougar an icon of all that is beautiful, wild and dangerous.
About the author
Paula Wild has written for British Columbia Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Vancouver Sun, Mariner Life and the Victoria Times-Colonist. She was awarded the BC Historical Federation Certificate of Merit in 1996 for her book Sointula: Island Utopia. She lives in Courtenay, BC.
- Short-listed, Bill Duthie Bookseller's Choice Award
- Winner, Gold - Foreword Reviews IndieFab Nature Book of the Year
"Given the opportunity, Paula Wild would love to try a meal of cougar."
Globe & Mail
"Through a skillful blend of natural history, scientific research and many first-hand accounts, along with amazing photos and detailed information on what to do in the case of a cougar encounter, Wild explores what makes this animal that has both fascinated and frightened Vancouver Islanders throughout history so beautiful, so dangerous, and why cougars remain such an important and valuable part of our environment."
Campbell River Mirror
"Wild has spent the last three years working full-time on the book, which she ventured into after becoming enthralled with cougars...[She] hopes that through her book she can help educate people on the beauty and strength of cougars, as well as show people how crucial they are to our ecosystem, and why we must learn to co-habitate."
"The Cougar blends elements of natural history, scientific research, First Nations stories, and first person accounts in its pages. With her in-depth research, Wild explores the relationship between mountain lions and humans, and provides information on cougar awareness and defense tactics for people living, working or travelling in cougar country."
Comox Valley Echo
"Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous is a fascinating, fact-filled book about cougars, big cats also known as "pumas" or "mountain lions". From myths about cougars, to cougars in captivity, to the natural role of the cougar in wild ecology, and perhaps most crucial of all, how to defend oneself in case of a cougar attack, The Cougar is a "must-read" for anyone who wants to know about this captivating yet potentially deadly beasts -- or for anyone who plans to visit, work, or live in cougar country!"
The Midwest Book Review
"The Cougar blends elements of natural history, scientific research, First Nations stories, and first person accounts in its pages. With her in-depth research, Wild explores the relationship between mountain lions and humans, and provides information on cougar awareness and defence tactics for people living, working or travelling in cougar country."
Comox Valley Record
"Paula Wild uncovers much about the big cat."
Nanaimo Daily News
"If sensational cougar attacks on people and their pets make you hungry to know more about these elusive felines, then Paula Wild's The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous (Douglas & McIntyre) is for you."
"The Cougar, from author Paula Wild (Douglas & McIntyre) will either make you fear or admire the animal -- or both...a fascinating book."
The Coast Reporter
"a fascinating read"
Campbell River Courier-Islander