- Watch this video of one of the brave hunters managing to free a mountain lion from a steel foot trap.
- Wildlife agencies employ trapping as a means of protecting certain game populations. Eleven states currently allow cougar trapping.
- Due to habitat loss, cougars have increased contact with humans.
A person who uses a trap is called a trapper. Essentially, they are known for hunting and trapping wild animals, especially in areas where these animals are a nuisance to the environment.
Trapping allows trappers to use mechanical devices to capture different animal species without their physical presence.
While effective for the intended purpose, entrapment is indiscriminate. This means that any animal, including those not being pursued by a trapper, can get stuck when their feet touch the ground where the mechanism is set.
In this clip, you can see the catcher catch something he didn’t expect. He set traps for bobcats and coyotes, but a mountain lion fell into the trap.
The camera is set on the ground, with the mountain lion in the center of the frame. It was visibly upset, and its left paw was caught in the trap, and it hurt badly.
Realizing he had to let go of the cougar, the hunter approached it with a lasso. Understandably, the cougar saw the man as a threat.
Despite this, the man continued to approach the cougar and deftly managed to put the noose around its neck. He only needs one try.
Mountain lions react like any cat. It hissed, bared its sharp teeth, and writhed on the floor, trying to break free—even with its left claw still stuck in the trap.
It was a dry environment with some bushes scattered around and the cougars kicked up quite a bit of dust. The man pulls the noose tight, nearly immobilizing the lion; getting him close enough to release the trap from the big cat’s claws.
Quickly, the man put the noose around the cougar’s neck and quickly let go of its claws.
Still visibly disturbed and confused, the cougar was let go by the man. Text on the screen questioned whether the cougar should have been caught in the first place.
The cougar ran away, not wanting to engage the humans who trapped it and injured its paw.
Trapping is still a controversial practice, but this trapper did a good thing by trying to right his wrong.
Is this behavior normal?
How could anyone question the actions of a trapped, frightened cougar after witnessing the unfortunate incident captured on camera? Wild animals are very dangerous, both free and trapped. Under the circumstances, it was normal for the cougar to display aggressive behavior. While the man seemed to have a good strategy for freeing the animal, the question arises – why were these traps set in the first place?
In general, wildlife agencies do use trapping as a means of protecting certain game populations. Currently, 11 U.S. states allow federal wildlife services, wildlife agency workers or private contractors to trap mountain lions. While puma attacks on humans are rare, they are increasing due to a variety of factors including habitat loss or encounters with humans such as hikers. These factors can lead to the need to set traps to protect humans or their livestock from mountain lions.
Wildlife is full of surprises. Watch the video below to learn about the different ways humans interact with wildlife:
Florida woman snuggles pet alligator in leather jacket around neck
Man punches kangaroo to save his dog in most Australian moment ever
Watch British adventurer meet wolves in harsh winter
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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