Watch a Group of Boaters Panic When They Realize a Mountain Lion Is Swimming After Them

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: February 8, 2023
© Warren Metcalf/
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This amazing clip was filmed from a boat at Tahsis in British Columbia, the most western province of Canada. Canada is relatively sparsely populated and is full of wide-open spaces so it is a perfect place to spot wildlife. You may not be that keen on them climbing onto your boat however!

Mountain Lion Overboard!

The clip starts with an amazingly scenic shot of a river flanked by forests. This is a perfect habitat for mountain lions (also called cougars) and you may expect to see one peering from behind a tree. What you probably don’t expect is to see one swimming towards your boat when you are peacefully fishing. Yet, that is exactly what happens. At one point, the mountain lion seems to be intent on climbing aboard but then suddenly changes its mind. The animal’s approach causes a fair amount of panic amongst the humans on the boat with cries of “GO!”

It is not as unusual as you may think to see mountain lions swimming, even though they are a member of the Felidae family which also contains the domestic cat who are notoriously fearful of water. There are several reports and videos online of them swimming. This is because they are very adaptable predators and will do what it takes to get prey. They hunt deer and deer are good swimmers so mountain lions follow them. Also, they hunt several water-based animals including otters, seals and sea lions.

A mountain lion (Florida panther) drinking from a watering hole
Mountain lions are very good swimmers

© Bedard

Mountain lions in Canada

Mountain lions are found in central, south and north America. They are carnivores and lead a solitary life. However, they are increasingly coming into contact with humans. Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of mountain lions in the world. Human-mountain lion encounters have become so common that the authorities have issued advice on what to do if you come across one.

In brief, you should stay calm and make yourself look as big as possible. Do not turn your back on it or make any sudden movements. Try to look assertive by maintaining eye contact and even showing your teeth and making loud noises. Throw something at the animal if you have to! If they attack you, fight back to show that you are not submissive prey. 

Perhaps the advice should also say ‘don’t let them in your boat!’

Up next:

Watch a Cougar Stalk a Woman Camping in the Woods By Herself

Watch This Tree Climber Come Face-To-Face With a Cougar, 30 Feet in the Air

Cougar vs Mountain Lion – What Are the Differences?

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Mountain lion perched on a rock near city with humans
© Warren Metcalf/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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