It’s been a really hectic week at work, and so much has happened in the world of animals! I just haven’t had a moment to write about it.
One really interesting study I happened across examines the social lives of cougars — specifically, the fact that they have a social life. Scientists had long thought of cougars as “solitary, robotic killing machines,” only to recently discover that female cougars, at any rate, have quite strong social bonds. They will spend a few days in each others’ company, and will even give each other access to their kill sites, sharing meals.
I had the amazing opportunity to stay at Dulini, a safari camp in South Africa a few years ago, and a video they posted recently reminded me of this study.
In this case, it’s a courting leopard couple sharing a meal — something that is, supposedly, never done.
Video and new technologies may be forcing us to re-evaluate this behavior that non-social cats theoretically never indulge in. Is it possible that many of the large cats enjoy social bonds, and all the independence of cats has largely been a figment of our own imaginations?