THE CHRONICLE HERALD, Published April 6, 2015 – 7:30am
Cry in the Night: The Fate of the Eastern Cougar has its world broadcast premiere on April 12 at noon on CBC-TV’s Land and Sea.
“Many people believe the eastern cougar used to roam Atlantic Canada in significant numbers, feeding on caribou, moose and white-tailed deer,” says director Christine McLean, in a news release.
“But scientists today are still wondering who these creatures are, and whether they ever were truly ‘eastern.’ What we do know is that they fell prey to hunters and land-clearing efforts and by 1998 there were too few to even determine their status.
“These days, the Shubenacadie (Provincial) Wildlife Park is one of few places you can see them up close.”
The title is inspired by the piercing cry of the cougar, “which some equate with a lament for the disappearing wilderness,” says the release.
McLean is a broadcaster with a master of journalism degree from Columbia University in New York.
Fredericton visual artist Janice Wright Cheney appears in the documentary alongside scientists, researchers and woodsmen.
“The very idea of this magnificent creature, that it lurks in the forests, is very intriguing to me. And also, I suppose, romantic,” says Cheney, who creates lifelike forms of the cats — also called panthers — and photographs them in the wilderness.
The documentary comes from Creative Atlantic, a Halifax company founded in 1989 that produces documentary, comedy, drama and children’s programming. Its principals are veteran filmmakers Janice Evans and Greg Jones.
The documentary will be available at cbc.ca/landandsea after the broadcast.