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Close Encounters of the Wild Kind - Winner

Congratulations Betty Kobe, From Valleyview, Alberta!!!!

She won the draw for the Classic Canadian Tours One Day Polar Bear Safari with our Radio Active Naturalist Brian Keating. 


From more information about the trip check out www.classiccanadiantours.com


Here's the story that Betty sent us:


One evening in June about 15 years ago, I walked out into an open pasture to check on the last five cows that hadn't calved yet. It was about 9 in the evening, my husband had already gone to bed as he leaves for work at 5 in the morning, so no one else was around. I had been suffering with a sore hip and was walking with an old stick which I used as a cane to ease the pain. When I got out to where the cows were grazing I stood and watched them for a few minutes for signs of calving and just enjoying the warm evening.


My dog Dan was with me. When I finally decided to return to the house, I called the dog, turned around to head for the house and came face to face with a cougar. He was about 10 yards behind me and directly between me and any possible shelter I could have sought. However, rather than being frightened, I was so surprised to see the cat that I just stood there and stared. I wasn't afraid for some reason, I just stood there and stared at him. I can remember thinking how gorgeous he was. Dan also just sat on his haunches beside me, not raising any fuss.

All three of us just stood perfectly still and stared at each other for quite some time. Eventually the cougar must have decided I wasn’t his choice for supper, turned and walked towards the bush at the edge of the pasture. Dan, my dog, just walked a few feet in front of me and laid down watching him. When the cougar got to the trees, he climbed on up a tree that had partially fallen down, and laid there watching me. I, nor my dog, still hadn’t moved. Finally the cougar (this must have been at least 3/4 of an hour after we met face to face) jumped off his perch, and walked along the edge of the bush and disappeared. I headed for home. Still in a bit of shock over seeing a cougar. It wasn’t until I got back to the house that I got scared when I realized how close I came to my demise. I also realized the cougar had to have been stalking me as we were in an open field and he was directly between myself and the house. Of course my husband didn’t believe me, but when we went back the next evening to where the cougar had been, there were his tracks and claw marks where he sharpened his claws on the tree while watching me. To this day, I have no idea why I wasn’t scared (at the time, I certainly was later), why the cougar decided to leave me alone as he could have had me in two bounds, why Dan didn’t bark (he usually did), or even why the cows weren’t nervous like they get when other types of wildlife was around. It was a very strange encounter.






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