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Mountain lions in Canada

One of the few cats that I still lack in my collection is the mountain lion or puma ( Puma concolor ). The shy cat can only be found on the American continent. Because there is nowhere such beautiful nature and so many other wild animals besides the cat that are worth seeing, I made my first trip to Canada. Of course, I did not assume that I would be able to get the cat in front of the camera at the first attempt, rather I used the almost four weeks to find possible locations for longer stays that were already planned. As always, I was traveling alone, because all of my photos have to be “worked out”. My first stay in Canada brought me exclusively to Vancouver Island, the place with the world's largest population of mountain lions. In order to be as flexible as possible and to be able to “examine” as many different places as possible, I used a rental car and drove from the south to the north and back again. You can also describe the island with one word - breathtaking.

Already in the first days I had a spectacular encounter with quite numerous and quite shy forest dwellers who unfortunately and wrongly enjoys a rather bad reputation. early in the morning I set off from a tiny place into the surrounding woods and after about ten kilometers I suddenly stood in front of him, a splendid specimen! Unfortunately, he saw me immediately and searched the distance, but good photos would not have been possible anyway because there was too little light. I then dared to walk about five hundred meters to the end of the path, but it just disappeared. For me it didn't go any further there, the wood was too thick and so I had a little thrill on the way back, probably with a black bear in my back.

On average, I covered about 15 kilometers a day and since I usually just go cross-country I always set a waypoint in my GPS first so that I can find my way back to the starting point. Otherwise, after a few hours of cross-country hiking in an unknown area, this can get a problem.

Even though the world's largest population of mountain lions exists on Vancouver Island, the cats are extremely shy and hear, smell and see humans long before they could even perceive them. Most of the encounters with the stately cat are more likely to take place by chance. In principle, on my first tour I looked where an ideal location for a camouflage tent could be, i.e. where the view, background, distance could be ideal. I might go on my next trip to Canada in winter, which is much more exhausting for me, but it is much easier to find traces of the cats. 

Sequel follows…



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