Wild presenting cougar book next week

Vancouver Island is known not only for having the highest density of cougars, but also the most aggressive

Vancouver Island is known not only for having the highest density of cougars, but also the most aggressive cougar population in North America.

Join local Comox Valley author Paula Wild for a presentation and book signing in Comox for her new book that explores our evolving relationship with this enigmatic animal, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous.

The event will take place Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Comox Library (101-1720 Beaufort Ave), with books for sale by Blue Heron Books. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Chances are, anyone who spends time in the woods in cougar country has been close to a cougar, whether they knew it or not. It can be a scary thought, especially combined with the lengthy history of recorded encounters that have occurred on Vancouver Island in the past 200 years or more, many of which are told in Paula Wild’s The Cougar.

There are tales of bounty hunters like the infamous Cougar Annie, who shot a cougar on her 73rd birthday; attack stories like that of the woman living in a logging camp in the ’50s who was attacked two separate times by the same cougar in one day, it had so fixated on her as prey; and surprising accounts of encounters occurring where you’d least expect it, like the parking garage at the Empress Hotel in Victoria.

However, as Wild says in The Cougar, “Co-existing with cougars isn’t about fear, it’s about knowledge.”

Through a skillful blend of natural history, scientific research and many first-hand accounts, along with amazing photos and detailed information on what to do in the case of a cougar encounter, Wild explores what makes this animal that has both fascinated and frightened Vancouver Islanders throughout history so beautiful, so dangerous, and why cougars remain such an important and valuable part of our environment.

Paula Wild is the author of several books, including One River, Two Cultures, The Comox Valley and Sointula Island Utopia, winner of a B.C. Historical Federation Certificate of Merit.

She has also written for numerous periodicals, including Beautiful British Columbia, Reader’s Digest and Canada’s History Magazine. She lives in Courtenay with her partner, Rick James.

For more information on Paula Wild’s presentation in Comox, contact Blue Heron Books at 250-339-6111.

— Douglas & McIntyre

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