A visitor to the North Island ended up in a scuffle with a cougar Aug. 1.
According to Conservation Officer Jonathan Pacquin the man was out jogging on the Hardy Main Line just north of Rupert Arm when he spotted the cougar.
The cougar retreated into the bush, however when the man jogged back through the same area, the cougar came out again and “showed threatening behaviour and contact was made,” said Pacquin.
The man received minor injuries to his leg and his hip including scratches and puncture woulds.
Pacquin said this was “very unusual behaviour. Cougars are quite reclusive. They typically don’t show aggressive or threatening behaviour to humans, but incidents can occur.”
Pacquin credits the positive ending to the fact that the man “did several things correctly.”
These included making himself look large, yelling at it and showing aggression back and throwing rocks at the cougar. Cougars range in size from 40 or 50 pounds up to 150.
Pacquin said he received the report of the incident the next day. “We used dogs to try and find any scent in the area and were unsuccessful, so the cougar had most likely moved off.”
The Conservation Officer Service has volunteer houndsmen in the area it uses for this process.