When I wrote this post about the mountain lion "problem" in the Rockies and the Pacific West, I hadn't really considered that it would be much worse in Canada.
My in-laws sent me some copies of the magazine Canadian Geographic, and one of the issues had a look at the mountain lion problem in British Columbia, in particular on Vancouver Island. For some reason, Vancouver Island has the highest densities of mountain lion in North America. My guess would be that food and habitat are great for big cats on the island. I know that the Roosevelt elk are abundant, and of trophy size everywhere, so they have plenty to eat.
But all that elk meat still isn't enough to ensure the cats stay away from people. The article is mainly about the many big cat attacks on humans in the last few years. Some have resulted in fatalities, while others, like the cat attack on some kids walking to a school bus stop, have resulted in injuries only. But any attack is going to be bad for a human; we just don't have the equipment (except with a knife or gun) to fight off something that can weight up to 150 pounds and has sharp teeth and claws. To make matters worse, mountain lions attack kids more than they do adults, and when a mountain lion has the back of the child's head in its mouth, it's nearly impossible for the child to fight back.
I was stationed once at Fort Lewis, Washington, and had always wanted to go to Vancouver Island to hike around and see all the beautiful scenery up there. And there is lots. I will get to go someday, but I know why the in-laws sent the magazine about the cougar attacks. My two older kids are big enough now that they are not going to look like an easy meal to any cougar roaming around, and they are big enough to fight back should one try. But the youngest one is not quite two yet, and she is very rambunctious, running everywhere and doing anything that strikes her fancy. She is the embodiment of the two things that are most likely to bring on a mountain lion attack on humans; small size and quick movement.
So for now, Vancouver Island is out of the camping possibilities.
It rains there too much, anyway.