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IIn the most definitive analysis of cougar attacks in the United States and Canada to date, Dave Mattson, Kenneth Logan & Linda Sweanor analyzed 386 human-cougar encounters since 1890, including 29 fatal attacks.  They found that yelling, backing away, throwing objects and making oneself look large decreased the chance of an attack during a close encounter.  In the late 1970s, an average of two attacks occurred annually.  The totals increased abruptly in the 1990s, reaching an all-time high of 7 or 8 probable attacks in 1998.  Since then, the total has dropped to around five per year and now may be decreasing.  (We are aware of only three attacks so far this year.)  Cougars are responsible for roughly one out of every 150 animal-caused deaths annually in the United States.  Most of these deaths are caused by domestic animals



One Response to “Factors governing the risk of cougar attacks on humans”

  1. […] black bear.  An analysis of cougar attacks by Mattson et al. recently posted on this blog – http://cougarrewilding.org/CougarNews/?p=4884 – found 29 cougar attack fatalities between 1900 and 2009 in the US and Canada.  During the […]