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.


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.


historical_regret2 t1_isbepgx wrote

“Hardly anyone wants to do it.”

The effect of socialization is huge. In my circles, virtually everyone exercises - I’d say >80%. It’s the default.

Edit: When I go back home to a rural/semi-rural area where I grew up, and obesity is rampant and virtually nobody exercises, the way they treat exercise is just perverse. Virtually all of their lives is set up to avoid raising their heart rate above resting. The default weekend is couches and TVs. Anything that raises your heart rate is to be bitched about to no end - having to walk "too far" across a parking lot, having to mow the lawn, etc. Exercise, at best, is for very young kids - once you hit adulthood, you never run five consecutive steps again. And exercise for health's sake, if it ever happens, only happens when it is prescribed by a doctor - for men, often not until heart problems arise or physiotherapy is necessary.

I went back over the holidays a few years back and was amazed at how the local gym/weight room was virtually empty on a regular evening. Had the whole place practically to myself. Went to grab groceries afterward and the store was packed with people who were obese, gray-skinned, and who frankly looked years if not decades older than they were. Guys my age - and I'm middle-aged - legitimately look like they could be my father, and not in a good way. In a fat, gray, over-the-hill way. It's honestly pathetic and I can't help but see it as both a symptom and cause of national decline - you cannot have vast swaths of the population be so physically unwell and miserable and prematurely old and expect to have a healthy, happy society.