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How to survive a cougar attack

The mountain lion, not the foxy older woman

How to survive a cougar attack
02 February 2011

While the internet has shown us that cats are extremely funny, the real world has shown us that cougars just don't have a great sense of humour. Just you try putting a wig on one.

Since they're unafraid of taking us humans on whenever they feel like it, we thought it best to provide you with some expert knowledge on what to do if you find yourself cornered.

We spoke to Pat Beach, the wildlife scientist who fronts the new show Beast Man (starting Monday Feb 7th at 8pm on Nat Geo Wild), who gave us his tips on how to avoid becoming dinner.

"Just because you see one in the distance, doesn’t mean it’s going to eat you. Watch it and it will probably wander away. Don’t ever run away from a puma though, it makes you look like prey.

"If you make eye contact then make sure you don't break it.

"If it starts walking towards you, don't remain calm. It's worth remembering that pumas live in a harsh environment where an injury can mean death, so they want an easy meal. Don’t let yourself look like one.

"Flail your arms, scream, yell, throw stuff at it, if you’ve got the guts, charge at the cat while doing all of the above.

"Here is where an air-horn, typically saved for sports fans, can really come in handy. They produce a noise no animal should make, and very few predators want to mess with something making that noise.

"If none of that worked and it’s now trying to attack the remember that it wants to end this quick, with one bite to the back of your skull. Don't give it a chance and hit, punch and scream to get it off of you. Do not stop fighting for any reason. Once the cat is off, the fight’s not over. They sometimes track you for miles and attack again. Get to safety without running away and get ready to repeat the above steps if necessary."

(Image: Rex Features)