Relax Bob Scammell; no need for flinching

After reading Bob Scammell’s book review of my partner Paula Wild’s book, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous, I feel compelled to respond especially since he’s already quoted me. “Children are magnets for cougar.”

After reading Bob Scammell’s book review of my partner Paula Wild’s book, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous, I feel compelled to respond especially since he’s already quoted me. “Children are magnets for cougar.”

Bob, like yourself, I’ve spent a good part of my life “recreating,” as well as working in the bush, especially the cougar hot spot of north Vancouver Island, where I planted trees for over 20 years. And, as it happened, I was supervisor of the day planter, Jack Scott, who was chased by one of the big cats.

Nonetheless, I still consider our fabulous Canadian outdoors and wild areas the safest place anywhere on the planet. Where else can a person get so close to paradise?

To put cougar attacks in perspective, consider these facts and numbers: As noted in Paula’s The Cougar, in the past 200 years in Canada and the U.S., the big cats have killed 55 people. That works out to an average of a measly .28 people taken down by cougars per year.

In comparison, 34,767 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States alone in 2012. That’s an average of 95 per day!

And here in Canada, whose population generally runs at close to one-10th that of the United States, a google research revealed that 2,011 of our fellow citizens died on our roadways back in 2009.

I hope this disturbing data doesn’t bring on a more serious flinching attack, Bob. If so, maybe you should consider turning in your vehicle registration and insurance and moving to a cabin up in the Rocky Mountain foothills to get away from that killing ground that is our highways. Let me know how it goes, maybe I could drop by for a visit sometime.

Rick James

Courtenay, B.C.

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