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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD May 15, Penny aims to tag a cougar PAJRKSVTLLE. B C. work out that way." said Penny Dewar who spends her days looking for cougars with her husband Percy in a for- ested area near this Vancou- ver Island community. The cougar-tagging pro- gram was started by Penny last June as a research pro- ject for a thesis that she hopes will eventually lead to a master's degree from the Uni- versity of Alberta. The project is to tree, tran- quillize and tag cougars to de- termine the size and mobility erf the cougar population on Vaiicouver Island. "Everyone thinks the island has ratyy cougars per square male than anywhere else in the world but no one has done any research on it said Percy. "CM course, that's not surprising because tfae re- search is so {MffieuK to do. You have to be strange to want to tag cougars." BECAME PARTNERS Penny, 24, became inter- ested in Percy graduating in biology from the University of Alberta. She moved into a cabin in the Englishm an River area south of Parksville to study animal behavior and obtained some cougar kittens from the B C. fish and wildlife service. "Percy ca'me out to visit me when I had the kittens be- cause he'd been working with cougars as a hunting she said. Around the Pacific- to the Orient and South Pacif ie FOR YOUR CRUISING PLEASURE WITH P and O CRUISE FROM VANCOUVER HAWAII MAY, JUNE AND JULY DEPARTURES 14 dcys from B GREAT CIRCLE PACIFIC CRUISE JUtY 1973 From DISCOVER THE PACIFIC CRUISE (SOUTH SEAS, THE ORIENT AND JAPAN SEPTEMBER 73 TWO MONTHS FROM BOOK NOW ON ONE Of THESE FINE CRUISES "For the Best in Travel ALL-WAYS" Coil or Visit A.M.A. World Travel Service 60S 5th Ave. S. fhone 328-7921 or 328-1181 All enquiries welcome Office open Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. ic 5 p.m. Ample free parking ol rear of building Island cougars elusive The mutual interest in cou- gars led to marriage June and full-time partnership in the tagging project, which they are financing themselves with some equipment help from the wildlife service. "Actually I'm enrolled at the University of Alberta hut I've neier been Penny said "I tol-i the university it would ti.i.e me 10 years to do field work for this project but they sci'J accepted mv. I don't know whv." The Dewars hunt {he cou- gars with the aid of s-pecially trained Bluetick hounds. The Penny Dewar (left) and husband, Percy, are running info problems attempting to tag cougars on Vancouver lond as port of o 10-year project to determine the size and mobility of the Island's cougar population. They report their Bluetick hounds have little difficulty the big buf getting them tagged is another matter. idea is that the hounds tree the cougar and the Devrars tranquillize it with a dart fired from a special pistol, then tag the animal as it falls unconscious out of the tree. In practice it rarely works out that way. "We've treed 20 cougars since we started the project but we've only tagged two of Penny said. The problems start after the Beware catch up to their hounds aind the treed cougar. "We have to tie up the dogs and fill the tranquillizer dart with the she explained. "Then Percy has to climb an- other tree to get into position to fire the dart. The pfetoi only has a range of 60 feet go he has to get quite close. And the trees around here are eo bushy it's often hard to see the animal." While all this activity is going on, the cougar usually leaps from the trw and takes off. Then the chhse starts aB over again. "We've had some rotten luck but we're not really dSs- Penny said." "We plan to stay in ihis location for at least another vear." whatever happened to hard-to-kill weeds? BROMINAL-M that's what! TO FIND OUT HOW AND WHY ATTEND THE 4th ANNUAL FREE SPRAYER CLINIC ANDBAR-B-QUE LETHBRIDGE FARM SUPPLY CENTRE ALL DAY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, MAY 24 AND 25 ;