. You're more likely to be hit by lightning, bitten by pigs, or killed by falling coconuts than being attacked by a shark. In fact, you are way more likely to get bitten by other human beings than by either sharks or cougars.
In short, they are less likely than zombies.
True, but you have to factor in how those statistics are compiled. Dividing shark attacks by population is easiest, and gives nice, safe numbers. But if you factor in that someone in Ohio has zero chance to be bit by a shark, has no significance to the chance of a surfer in the Pacific getting but by a shark, things change.
When you figure that the shark attacks recorded are only those with survivors, witnesses, or recovered remains, you gotta wonder how many of the drownings with no recovery may have been assisted by natural causes. By the same token, folks in Atlanta being safe from cougar doesn't make hikers in the Olympics any safer.
On the other hand, I've known hunters, hunting for cougar, to go seasons without so much as seeing a cougar. So they aren't thick on the ground.
For me, the key is knowing what to do. Bears attack mainly rivals and threats. Try not to seem threatening. Cougar attacks prey. Stare them down if you see them (that's a big if) don't turn your back or move away. Don't swim with sharks.
I've done plenty of hiking, never seen a cougar, only one bear, and never seen a shark over 6'. But I know they are there.