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August 29, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

COUGAR: Ghost of the Rockies by Karen McCall & Jim Dutcher (Sierra Club Books: $20; 146 pp.). Published in conjunction with a television documentary of the same name, "Cougar" chronicles Dutcher's efforts to film the large feline variously called cougar, puma, catamount and mountain lion. Merciless hunting and the destruction of its once-vast habitat have made the puma too elusive to photograph in the wild: Dutcher kept a cougar from the Boise zoo in a five-acre enclosure for several months, observing and filming as she raised a litter of three cubs. The authors argue that this arrangement, although artificial, enabled them to observe behaviors typical of wild cougars.

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