Canada has a very diverse landscape and because of this, we have plenty of wild animals. From polar bears and moose to Beluga whales and seals, Canada has it all. Here's something you probably didn't know, though - the highest concentration of cougars in the world is on Vancouver Island in B.C. This small area is completely overrun by cougars in Canada, reports the University of Victoria.
There have been some wild stories about close animal encounters this year. Most of these close calls have to do with bear sightings in B.C. It was even found that Slave Lake in Alberta has the highest number of bear sightings with over 160 complaints this year.
While there were tons of bear sightings in the province and across Canada, a study conducted by the University of Victoria found that nearly a quarter of Canada’s cougar population resides on Vancouver Island. This is surprising, considering the island takes up only 3% of B.C.’s land area.
Because of this, Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of cougars in the world.
If you find yourself hiking on the island, you may want to stick to the buddy system as these animals are known to stalk their prey.
Cougars are incredibly dangerous and scary wild cats. They are known to actively stalk their prey using a variety of tactics to capture them.
Male cougars can weigh over 100 kg with the females being around 25% smaller.
According to the University of Victoria, there are around 4000 cougars in Canada. Of that, 3500 live in B.C. with a quarter of that number residing on Vancouver Island, Vancouver Is Awesome reports.*
Living in mainly forested mountain areas, their territory is continually expanding due to human interference. That being said, a large majority of the cougars on the island tend to stay on the eastern side where there is less climatic variation and a higher density of deer.
However, just because they are mostly on the island, doesn’t mean they don’t come into residential areas once in a while.
Earlier this year, a Canadian woman from Lake Cowichan in B.C. saved her seven-year-old son from a cougar attack. The attack allegedly took place in the woman’s own backyard in March.
Even though these cougars are dangerous, they are important to the ecosystem. According to the University of Victoria, the cougar population helps lower trophic levels including deer.
*This article has been updated.