Cougarphobic people, of which there are quite a few here in Oregon, have an irrational fear of cougars, a.k.a. mountain lions.
I wish they'd get some therapy. This would be healthy both for them and the environment, since cougars are a valuable part of the natural ecosystem.
One of the symptoms of cougarphobia is seeing cougars everywhere. I enjoy the periodic news stories about someone who SAW A COUGAR!!! Which turns out to be a house cat. Recently this happened again in Lynden, Washington.
A "cougar" sighted four times near the Lynden fairgrounds turned out to be a very muscular orange housecat.
A woman snapped photos of the alleged cougar Monday, Aug. 27, near the 1800 block of Front Street. She saw the cat two times, and another person reported seeing a cougar in a different part of town, said Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster. The sightings were first relayed to police Tuesday.
This shows how ridiculous it is to base cougar mangement policy on reported sightings.
Not only are cougar attacks very rare -- much rarer than attacks on humans by dogs and other people -- but the instances of house cats being mistaken for a cougar show that the number of reported sightings is likely highly exaggerated.
Salem "cougar" is almost certainly a cat
From India comes a story about tigers which has a lot of relevance for handling cougars in the United States. "Tigers, men can live in harmony, says study." This is exactly our experience with cougars, living as we do in a rural area where they regularly prowl and kill deer.
Tigers are not only capable of peacefully co-existing with man in the reserve forests but also, over the years, they have learnt how to thrive by lying low in day-time dominated by noisy human activities and being more active in the night, a new study has claimed.
Even though the research was conducted among tigers in Chitwan Reserve Forest in Nepal, the researchers claimed that the methods and conclusion of the study are applicable to Indian forests in which both people and tigers live.
So there's no need to fear cougars. Or tigers. Respect them. Be careful around them. Don't be afraid of them.
Same advice applies to the really dangerous species which attacks and kills humans with deadly regularity: Homo sapiens.