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OregonTripleBeam t1_ja8luvx wrote

Can you imagine kayaking around and seeing a mountain lion heading towards you in the water...yikes.


Drewy99 t1_ja8u7jp wrote

Or camping on a deserted island and waking up to mountain lion neighbors


historical_regret2 t1_jaau8of wrote

It’s this way on the coast of BC. Very dense cougar territory. If you’re kayaking through and you know there’s a cougar around, it can be a bit spooky. I’ve spent some nights on some small islands where I’ve faced the trees, rather than the beach, while sitting at the campfire. Just didn’t want to turn my back on the woods. You know they’re there.


Frosti11icus t1_jabfvfd wrote

There's Sea Wolves on the BC Coast in addition to bears, so it's pretty well established that Apex predators not only can swim, but it appears is necessary in order to survive on the BC coast. I'm not knocking science here because I understand this is how the process works, but it's surprising that anyone would assume Cougars don't swim...


fucking_blizzard t1_jac6xny wrote

>I’ve spent some nights on some small islands where I’ve faced the trees, rather than the beach

Meanwhile, the aquatic cougars creep their way onto the sand....


bit1101 t1_jacb129 wrote

And the sky cougars fly in from above.


KiIgore-Trout t1_jacpdjy wrote

Science just confirming long held beliefs about cougar naval and air force dominance


SpecialFX99 t1_ja8n5en wrote

Better than seeing the same while swimming!


PoopIsAlwaysSunny t1_ja9kx3s wrote

I mean, better than pretty much any other animal of that size in the water.

I don’t expect a mountain lion is hunting in the water, nor are they going to catch up to my kayak.


SephithDarknesse t1_jab125d wrote

I cant imagine they'd actually attack much while in the water, it would he an incredibly vulnerable position for them. Instinct would say that attacking a floating object (bird) would cause it to sink, and eating it would cause them to fail at swimming.


moose_caboose_ t1_jacj0j2 wrote

They almost never attack at all and when they do it’s children.


SephithDarknesse t1_jacs8d6 wrote

Yeah, i mean anything really, not restricted to humans. They'd probably only even fight if threatened, likely swim the other way.


spiralbatross t1_jaaz3qh wrote

This summer


“Harry, grab my hand, he’s almost at the boat!”

female cougar in heat noises amidst splashes

“I can’t do it Janet, he’s just too fast! Aaaahh!”

…you’re in a catamountain of trouble


dissjsjs t1_jabz5x0 wrote

Can’t imagine they’re Michael Phelps fast. Going to get a wack from the oar though. Bad kitty!


AJChelett t1_ja8orio wrote

Guess that makes it a sea lion now


wanderyote t1_ja8rbjf wrote

if a mountain lion can swim that far, it makes it likely that at some point one got eaten by an orca.


TheFlyingBoxcar t1_ja8t45n wrote

Yeahfirst thing I thought was this is how you get eaten by orcas


gobbo t1_ja8ytxa wrote

Orcas are fussy eaters: the Salish sea resident J pod, for instance, only really eat salmon, and the genetically nearly identical, but culturally quite different transient pods, are particular about eating seals and sea lions and whales and things with lots of fat on them.

Chances are the transients would ping this feline and realize it's nothing but sinew and bones with almost no fat and not worth eating.


dr3wzy10 t1_ja9ei6m wrote

they eat wolves in the PNW, so I feel like it wouldn't be much of a stretch for them to also eat a mountain lion given the opportunity


gobbo t1_ja9rvxz wrote

OK, that's really interesting! How often, and which orcas?


Frosti11icus t1_jabg5lv wrote

There are Sea Wolves in the Upper Pacific Northwest. They are packs of wolves who swim between islands to hunt. IDK if it's true Orca's are hunting them...but they aren't very well studied anyway so I doubt there's anyone looking for evidence.


dr3wzy10 t1_jaa4iqo wrote

Orcas have been observed preying on terrestrial mammals, such as deer swimming between islands off the northwest coast of North America

took that from the wikipedia page. I think the same area that these orca have been observed eating deer that swim in the water has a pack of wolves that also swims in those waters. So, maybe what i said is a stretch from a stretch but still within the realm of possibility i believe.


Marine__0311 t1_ja9qazx wrote

It's feasible, but highly, unlikely.

Orcas have been observed preying on several aquatic mammal species, but never on a swimming terrestrial mammal. But, some carcasses of moose, and one deer, have been found with bite marks consistent with an orca attack.

Orca pods have different ecotypes, and often specialize on specific prey species. They only occasionally go after prey outside of their preferences.


FrigFrostyFeet t1_jaar08g wrote

Where did you get “and one deer”? Lolol

“Orcas have been observed preying on terrestrial mammals, such as deer swimming between islands off the northwest coast of North America.” Straight from wiki


its_not_you_its_ye t1_jaa31vj wrote

If that were the case, we’d probably have more examples of humans being eaten by orcas in the wild.


dasus t1_ja9008c wrote

>“We are redefining the mountain lion in our minds as an animal that can swim.”

I never thought of it as an animal that couldn't swim.

I think basically the only mammals that can't properly swim are giraffes and and great apes. (Some great apes do, but like humans, a lot can't.)


LornAltElthMer t1_ja95mt6 wrote

Hippos can't swim which is kind of odd given they're the most closely related land mammals to whales.


dasus t1_ja97hen wrote

Oh damn, true, I forgot that, as they're pretty aquatic, but yeah, you are right, they just run underwater, haha.

Eh, they're just the part of the branch that stayed in the shallows. (Whale evolution docs are cool)

Seems like going back from land to water has happened quite a few times. Taxonomy is interesting and your comment made me look a bit, and to my surprise, hippos are more closely related to cetaceans than they are to manatees. I mean, I had never given it any thought before, but I didn't realise how different manatees and dugongs are from cetaceans.

Also, seals and walruses. Weird that a hippo can't swim, but walruses can. They both look heavy enough, but guess hippos do be a bit denser.


HippoBot9000 t1_ja97ii1 wrote



LornAltElthMer t1_ja97xsl wrote

I'm guessing with the walruses it's the flippers that make the difference.

Just going by appearance I'd have guessed a hippo and a manatee would be more closely related, but here we are ;-)


Ppleater t1_ja9a1k3 wrote

It's not so much that they can't swim, but rather that they can't float, so they have to move along the bottom by running along or leaping off the ground. But if they were made more buoyant I bet they'd be powerful swimmers.


historical_regret2 t1_jaaur32 wrote

I think it’s a question of how far they can swim.

For example, Vancouver Island (tons of cougars) has historically never had a breeding population of brown bears, which is insane given its size and abundant perfect brown bear habitat.

Turns out that it’s because female brown bears can’t quite hack the swim from the mainland. Males can, and there are always a few males wandering the island, but females don’t and as such a population never got established.

So female brown bears can swim - just not the 3 km or so that it takes to island hop from the mainland to the nearest point of Van island.


dasus t1_jabywfc wrote

Yeah, I get that it's more of a "they are good swimmers who do it voluntarily", as opposed to "someone tossed them in the water and they didn't drown".

Good example with the bears, man.


just_some_guy65 t1_jabuiqn wrote

I also thought that was an odd statement given that most animals can


GymAndGarden t1_ja9e0vu wrote

Its Puget Sound, OP.

Not Pugent.


Gerald98053 t1_jaach9q wrote

Although at times in the past we called it “pungent sound.” The paper mills in Everett used to dump their effluent into the Sound and the sulfurous odor was extreme. Good times, good times.


southflhitnrun t1_ja96w7h wrote

Oh great, the murder kitty can swim also!


Splenda t1_ja9flyf wrote

Paywalled. Which island? Every rock near Puget Sound is inhabited these days.


WarWinx t1_jac69tl wrote

“Squaxin Island.”

If your browser has a ‘reader’ view, that can get around this particular wall.


Corellians t1_ja98rs8 wrote

If you think this is impressive, you should hear them scream


somajones t1_ja9af47 wrote

The tag on a black bear a coworker hunted indicated it had swam across east Grand Traverse Bay at some point, a distance of 3 - 5 miles. They are pretty fat though. I imagine it could spend a lot of time just floating and conserving its energy.


Marine__0311 t1_ja9qrzc wrote

All bears are excellent swimmers. They float due to high fat content, and their oily coat, which makes it much easier to swim.


lizcopic t1_ja9igm0 wrote

They’re gonna eat SO good if they make it to San Juan! All those lil deer and chickens everywhere are about to learn a hard lesson about the food chain.


showturtle t1_jaa54al wrote

We have a summer cabin on one of the islands in the Sound and there is a bear that swims out to the island from the mainland every year- it’s a little over a mile.

There’s some bizarre fauna on some of those islands- there’s one that has herds of African(?) animals (they look like gazelle or springbok- I’ve never really been able to get a good look). I’ve seen them a couple times from kayaking/sailing nearby. I was told that the owner of that island set it up as a private hunting preserve (not sure if true).


runsslow t1_jaa860x wrote

Oh no. Here come the sea lions…?


OldFoolOldSkool t1_ja98k29 wrote

Where is Pugent Sound?


GlassWasteland t1_ja9div4 wrote

Seattle or there abouts.


GymAndGarden t1_ja9ds0r wrote

Nope, the one in Seattle is called Puget Sound.

Kidding, cause OP didn’t copy and paste, and fucked the spelling.


Splenda t1_ja9fbwy wrote

However, on some days it's Pungent Sound.

And if there isn't a grunge band by that name, there should be.


r3vOG t1_ja9td9y wrote

Might be able to smell it before you hear it.


simonsaysgo13 t1_jaauuns wrote

It is Puget Sound not “Pugent” Sound.


DarkC0ntingency t1_jab0jcv wrote

A cougar from the puget sound ate my cat, my neighbors cat, and another neighbors dog in like 2 weeks in 2009. Nearly killed my dad.

Washington cougars are just a different breed of cougar. They have zero chill and no fear. I have no problem believing they cross oceans out of spite if they really wanted to.

Fuckin’ wasps in cat form.

Edit: because apparently some people are angry: I’m being slightly hyperbolic in my word choice here. I don’t have a raging hateboner for cougars. Frankly I blame the local city more than anything for basically saying “look, we can’t do anything about it until it attacks a human”.


Aimish79 t1_jabjw6a wrote

Squaxin Island, SW corner of the Puget Sound. Roughly north of Olympia. Wiki says the Island is an uninhabited tribal reservation for the Squaxin people. Probably just a big, unofficial, nature preserve now.


SandwitchCoveness t1_jabx9bo wrote

I thought all animals can swim, even if just a little bit? A mountain lion swimming isn't a surprise


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LimeWizard t1_jab8rvq wrote

Didn't see see a sub population of wolves in the Pacific northwest start swimming and eating fish? Could something like that be happening?


unitegondwanaland t1_jabd1bv wrote

I imagine a cougar has webbed toes much like a Labrador does.


ZenwalkerNS t1_jabn8gu wrote

All cats are good swimmers. They just don't like to be thrown into water or forced to be bathed.


SentenceofJudgement t1_jabsdx3 wrote

So we utilise moats with high walls (that they would probably be able to scale without the moat) to keep these animals contained in zoos, will be interesting to see if that changes over time or if this is just an anomaly.


redlines4life t1_jabxhwg wrote

Odd question, but does their fur help make them more buoyant?


pk666 t1_jac4b6m wrote

It's that look, that the lioness, gives her man across the Nile

I will swim to you.

I will swim


kjbaran t1_jacid3e wrote

She just needed someone new


Jaedos t1_jaco5yg wrote

Well ya. Just like you'd never guess that Orcas are natural predators of Moose.


ChiselledMess t1_jacsedg wrote

So not only do we have to look out for sharks and crocs, you’ve added mountain lions to the list of reasons I won’t swim in the sea.


TheOmniAlms t1_jad1cdx wrote

What?? Isn't this common knowledge?

15 years ago we knew mountain lions were swimming to islands near P.E.I. Who is "we"?


unga-unga t1_jaeaaua wrote

Sometimes I feel like people just need to go outside more. I don't understand how anyone would study cougars without realizing that they swim, and sometimes pointlessly, for fun. The very first time i ever saw one in the wild, as a child, it was swimming the Siuslaw river clean across in late spring (river is huge, swolen, and rapid). Thereafter I've seen them swimming in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Arizona. Sometimes I feel like these biologists just aren't hikers.

They probably think foxes don't climb and that bears are anti-social and old crap like that.


PlantingMatters t1_jac409j wrote

It amazes me that despite impending ecological collapse, so many people on this thread express personalized fear at this discovery than see it as a potential triumph for the animal. The personalization of fear while at the same time systemically pushing others to extinction is curious. Please contextualize your emotions.