Police said 17 men, ages 21 to 28, were killed in a horrendous cougar attack early Sunday morning in Richmond’s Shockoe Slip. The matured cats appear to have migrated into the city from the suburbs, targeting dozens of attractive and mostly intoxicated young men.
Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood said the victims were seen earlier in the evening taunting the cougars with plates of raw deer meat, the scents of various musky colognes, and the display of numerous wild cat-calls that only made the felines more vicious.
“This was a senseless tragedy that was, unfortunately, something that could have been prevented with proper training on how to act when one comes face-to-face with a full-grown cat,” Norwood said. “Cougars, alcohol, and young men are a dangerous mix.”
Additionally, none of the victims held valid cougar-hunting licenses, he said.
Police said the attacks came from cougars of all colors, including the light tan-coated cougar whose partner left her anywhere from six months to five years ago, a species common to the Richmond metropolitan area.
In addition, sources claimed to see at least three black panthers, a hairless Asian puma, and what is being described as a rare blue-eyed Hispanic lynx, native to the southwestern United States and the Twin Hickory subdivision in Henrico County’s far West End.
Regardless of color, the extremely-territorial cougars prefer habitats with darker lighting – specifically, college bars – to hide signs of age from potential suitors. Cougars are known use their retractable claws and powerful jaws to drag prey into their four- to five-bedroom homes.
“I kept telling the guys to stop and just play dead, that cougars aren’t something you should mess with, but they kept telling me to quit being a pussy because cougars totally love to hang out,” said Scott Charlotte, who witnessed the jaws of a cougar lock onto friend Ed Vaughan’s neck, bite, and leave several critical bruises. “Once that happened I knew that I’d never see my friend again.”
“At least not until the next morning at Denny’s,” he added.
Though yesterday’s cougar attacks were the result of the provoking male species and the procurement of brightly-colored intoxicants that destabilize the cats and make them friskier than normal, experts say such assaults are fairly common nationwide.
Native to every country and city in the world, cougars typically move in packs of three or more and feed on a variety of prey, including including deer, cattle, and fraternity member. Averaging five feet, six inches in height, the stalk-and-ambush cougar generally targets mates 10 to 20 years younger, though older cougars may sometimes search for partners three to five decades their junior.
The reproductive cycle of a cougar runs 52 weekends a year.