Book review: The Cougar Beautiful, Wild & Dangerous by Paula Wild

| May 11, 2014 | Reply

Pumas have one of the largest distributions of any mammal. Unfortunately their population has dropped considerably or they were eradicated completely in many parts of their range.
Some experts believe that in recent decades the Puma (or Cougar, Moutain Lion) has recovered in parts of western North America.
Conflicts have increased with livestock owners. Pumas also have attacked and killed some dogs or house cats and in some rare cases they have even killed or injured humans. Although this is a very rare event, it always makes the media go crazy and some people use those incidents to cry for more population control.
For humans and Pumas to coexist it is important that the general public knows something about the biology of those big cats and how to behave in Puma country and in the rare event of actually seeing a Puma in the wild.

This is where Paula Wild’s books comes in. Written for the general public it has enough information about the Pumas biology that the reader can have a good understanding of the life of the cats.

The book covers basic Puma behavior, tells many stories of encounters (incl. where people where attacked) but also tells the story of scientists studying and protected pumas.
Other chapters covers Cougar hunting in the past and changing attitudes among the people in North America towards Cougars.

The book also has a great chapter with information about the correct behavior once you are outdoor in Puma territory. Many injuries or even fatal encounters can be avoided if people know how to behave correctly.

The book also tries to find ways how people can coexist with this fascinating predator. Vital for ecosystem health, it is important that humans find a way to protect (and restore where extinct) large predators like Pumas or Wolves.

The writing is very good, always interesting and the book is hard to put down. For the general public, the author found the right mix between personal stories of people who have encountered pumas and biological information.

If the reader wants more details about the live of Pumas after reading this book, I highly recommend Cougar – Ecology and Conservation.

Paula Wild has done a great job writing this book and I hope that many people read it and get a better understanding of Pumas and maybe even fight for their conservation.
Highly recommended!

Book website:
The Cougar Beautiful, Wild & Dangerous

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Category: books, cats

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