Zoo sauvage de St-Félicien

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Questions about the animals

1. Is it true that a wolverine is liable to attack a bear or a human being?

There are many stories and legends about the wolverine and it is at times difficult to separate fact from fiction. The wolverine is capable of ferocious self-defence when cornered; it will even attack a much larger animal. It has been said that it can jump onto the back of a much larger animal and kill it by biting into its neck, but the wolverine is not a natural predator; it is more adapted to scavenging.

The technique used to persuade the animals to go inside is quite simple; the animals receive their main meal at the end of the day. The anticipation of a good meal encourages them to go in for the night.

12. Aren’t the polar bears rather hot during the summer?

The polar bears are remarkable examples of adapting to the cold; they are protected by a thick layer of blubber, hollow hair shafts and dark skin. Due to this, winter is obviously their preferred season, a time when they can enjoy playing in the snow and swimming in the icy water.

Fortunately, during the summer, our polar bears can cool down as often as they wish by spending their time in their huge freshwater pool. Furthermore, the springtime melt gets rid of superfluous winter fur.

13. Why are there electrified wires?

The electrified wires are used to keep animals within a specific part of a habitat. For example, we cannot allow beavers to travel freely around the whole habitat, because they would damage too many trees. Additionally, the electrified wires separate the species, for example, keeping the bobcats away from the grizzly bears. They also protect our animals from the intrusion of other wildlife.

14. Is the cougar the same as the puma?

It is quite usual for one species to have several common (vernacular) names and this is the case with the cougar. Some call it the puma or the mountain lion. In order to avoid confusion, scientists use a binomial nomenclature, i.e. two words, to identify each species clearly and accurately. So, the scientific name of the cougar is Felis concolor.

15. Can one find cougars in Quebec?

The status of the cougar population in North America is precarious. The status of the Eastern subspecies, Puma concolor cougar, is for the moment not established because of insufficient data (according to the Canadian Committee on the situation of at risk species).   This species suffered enormously from the settlement of its habitat as it was subject to intensive hunting.  In spite of all this, a number of trustworthy sightings have been made in Canada and Quebec. It is therefore possible to see cougars in Quebec and such a sighting is worth mentioning, given the scarcity of the animal and its almost completely nocturnal habits. There are those who believe that these sightings could come from released or escaped animals from captivity. Only genetic analysis could shed light on this subject.