You can the title as many times as you’d like, but your eyes aren’t fooling you. While walking along a wooded path (what we’d call a trail out here, by the sounds of it) in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, a man was suddenly attacked by a large cougar while listening to music through his headphones. He was hit from behind with enough force to knock him to the ground, fortunately for him his quick thinking lead him to elbow the cougar in the face before using his longboard to stun it and escape unscathed.
Officials from the park say that attacks of this nature are extremely rare, as cougars are relatively shy, wary animals who tend to avoid human contact. This means that the cougar is either very young and doesn’t yet know how to hunt, or is in some sort of dire straights and is going for the easiest prey possible — either scenario isn’t good.
What can you do to avoid getting attacked yourself? Carry some bear mace, making noise, and walking in pairs or groups while also avoiding dawn and dusk are your best bets for steering clear of any trouble.
While this took place far away from the east coast and not directly related to skating, it’s a good reminder that you should always be aware of your surroundings, and make sure friends or family know where you’re going if you’re alone. It’s a best practice to skate, hike, etc. with a buddy in case anything ever happens, but when you can’t find anyone you should at least leave a note or shoot someone a message. We’re not the only creatures in the great outdoors, and it seems like after Buffalo Bill Downhill and this incident, animals are becoming even more and more curious about skating.
Stay safe out there.
(via the National Post)