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Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies

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Almost impossible to observe in nature, the solitary ways of the cougar, or mountain lion, have long been veiled in myth and mystery. Called the "Spirit of the Mountains" by Native Americans, the Cougar once roamed throughout North America. After being hunted mercilessly for the past 200 years, it has retreated to the most remote corners of our continent. Prepared in conjunction with an award-winning documentary of the same name, Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies reveals a year in the life of this elegant and ...
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Overview

Almost impossible to observe in nature, the solitary ways of the cougar, or mountain lion, have long been veiled in myth and mystery. Called the "Spirit of the Mountains" by Native Americans, the Cougar once roamed throughout North America. After being hunted mercilessly for the past 200 years, it has retreated to the most remote corners of our continent. Prepared in conjunction with an award-winning documentary of the same name, Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies reveals a year in the life of this elegant and enigmatic creature through the eyes of wildlife filmaker Jim Dutcher. Dutcher, along with writer Karen McCall and a support team, observed and filmed Catrina, a pregnant cougar taken from the Boise Zoo and released into a five-acre enclosure in Idaho's White Cloud Mountains. The first humans afforded so close a glimpse of the elusive cougar's annual life cycle, Dutcher and McCall provide an extraordinary portfolio of mountain lion behavior. The book's dramatic full-color photographs display the cougar's grace and beauty, her power and agility, and her tenderness in caring for and educating her young. Karen McCall's text beautifully complements the photographs, interweaving the story of the filmmaking project with Native American and pioneer myth and legend, contemporary information such as population dynamics, territorialism and predatory behavior, and information on the devastating impact of human encroachment on the cougar's habitat. Pulitzer-prize winning author Wallace Stegner makes an eloquent plea to maintain the moratorium that has saved the cougar from extinction in his moving Foreword, "Memo to the Mountain Lion."

In 1990 and 1991, more than 30 million people had the chance to see one of America's most elusive creatures up close, in the ABC-TV documentary "Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies." Last year, Cougar was released in a cloth edition to great acclaim. Now the first paperback edition of this stunning volume will reach an even wider audience. 70 color photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Because of hunters and a solitary nature, cougars (also known as the panther and mountain lion) are difficult to locate and study. In conjunction with his prize-winning documentary film aired on ABC in 1990, Dutcher compiled the 70 color photos here. Advised by Hornocker's Wildlife Research Service, he released Catrina, a pregnant female from the Boise Zoo, into a five-acre, specially built enclosure deep in Idaho's White Cloud Mountains; he observed her closely for a year. Following Dutcher's superb photographs, McCall combines the story of Dutcher's filmmaking with a richly detailed account of cougar behavior. In mid-July Catrina gave birth to three male kittens; while she accepted the presence of humans, the kittens were hostile to them and it was decided to release these cougars into deeper wilderness in the spring. In 1990-1991, 1800 cougars were killed in the 10 states that permit hunting. This book is a powerful argument for the protection of cougars. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Two years ago, Dutcher documented the story that appears here in a film of the same title that won eight national and international awards. With the help of author and researcher McCall, Dutcher presents a print counterpart that seems just as powerful. The first-rate color photographs effectively capture the cougar's elusive strength, beauty, and spirit. The text operates on two levels. While telling the story of an individual lion, Catrina (the star of the film), it also discusses what the future holds for this species. The message is critical. Cougars, still considered game animals in many states, are killed as nuisance animals by many ranchers who misunderstand them. We must learn to understand and care about this species before it is too late. Recommended for all collections.-- Nancy Moeckel, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, Ohio
Booknews
Prepared in conjunction with an ABC documentary, filmmaker Dutcher and writer McCall relate (in text and 70 striking color photographs) their experience with Catrina, a pregnant cougar taken from the Boise Zoo and released into a five-acre enclosure in Idaho's White Cloud Mountains, where she bore and raised three kittens. They also make clear, however, the devastating impact of human encroachment on the cougar's habitat. 10.25x10". Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871565648
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 10/27/1992
  • Pages: 224

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