A growing North American cougar population has inspired scientists to take a close look at the risk this species presents to humans. In his 2011 analysis of 343 North American aggressive cougar encounters, David Mattson found that only 29 resulted in fatal human attacks.
It all began with roadkill. Banff, the crown jewel of the Canadian national parks, is a paradox. Big, primeval wildness and all it embodies — peaks, waterfalls, and glaciers — surround the townsite, the antithesis of wildness with its bustling boutiques and hotels. Highway 1, one of the busiest Canadian roadways, slices through the park via the Bow Valley. It vectors millions of people and their vehicles through this iconic landscape, creating a lethal corridor for wildlife.