Ghostwalker: Tracking a Mountain Lion's Soul Through Science and Story
What does it feel like to be a mountain lion?
Ghostwalker aims to empower the reader with that kind of knowledge. When the author encounters mountain lion tracks near her home outside Yellowstone National Park, she begins a journey to learn about these elusive, unseen animals. Personal tracking stories provide a framework as the author delves deeper into the heart of lions. What is the impact of hunting mountain lions? What happens when wolves and grizzly bears are added to the mix of top predators? How do mountain lions navigate urban-wildlife interfaces? To answer these questions, Patten interviews biologists working in Yellowstone National Park, Panthera's Jackson Teton Study, and various studies around the San Francisco Bay Area. She also conducts dozens of interviews with professional trackers, houndsmen, as well as spokesmen from the Mountain Lion Foundation and The Cougar Fund. Patten explores the ancient lore--who is the cougar that is the "Sasquatch" of Mexico--and learns how to successfully trail mountain lions to obtain amazing photos. Travel along with the author as she discovers the secret lives of America's largest wild feline.
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About the Author
"Mountain lions, also called cougars or pumas, are magnificent beings who are central to the integrity of the ecosystems in which they live. Because they are predators, they are feared and wantonly and brutally killed throughout the landscapes they call home. They surely deserve better -- to be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion -- and if Ghostwalker doesn't convince you to appreciate them as the majestic animals who they are, I'm not sure what will. Leslie Patten's book should go a long way in clearing up misunderstandings about mountain lions. I hope it will enjoy a broad global audience because the disdain and hate with which some people view mountain lions also characterizes the way in which other nonhuman predators are seen, and they all suffer from being violently killed 'in the name of humans.'"
- Marc Bekoff Ph.D., University of Colorado; member of the board of The Cougar Fund, author of The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age (with Jessica Pierce), Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do, and editor of Listening To Cougar (with Cara Blessley Lowe)
"(Patten) engagingly interwove her experiences with the science and lore to create the best popular treatise on pumas that I've read in decades. Her scholarship is impeccable, she tells a good tale, and she writes with a journalist's eye for clarity. Asked to recommend a book that summarizes the current state of the puma, I'll choose this one for some time to come. I congratulate Leslie for a job well done."
- Harley G. Shaw Retired Wildlife Research Biologist; Author: Soul Among Lions; Managing Editor, Wild Felid Monitor
"Ghostwalker is a rare blend of poetry and scholarly insight, concealed mystery and revelation. This book is a journey through the eyes of a woman who, having never seen a cougar, has actually seen him better than most: with a heart wide open to receive the tales and lessons these cats hold for all Creation, especially mankind."
--Cara Blessley Lowe, Co-Founder, The Cougar Fund
"I learned more about the elusive lion in four hours curled up with this book than four decades hiking the Greater Yellowstone. Patten seamlessly knits together personal experiences, scientific research, archaeology, and legend to reveal the very essence of the lion."
-Tom Carter, author Day Hiking Yellowstone
"To know the essence of the lion--that is the quest of Leslie Patten as she tracks and ponders the life of America's mountain lion--a quest that will leave you yearning for the high country, on the trail of the ghost cat."
- Will Stolzenburg, author of Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk Across America