Cougar (Mountain Lion)

(Puma concolor)


Cougars are also known as mountain lions or pumas.  Cougars are carnivores (meat eating animals). They are very good at hiding and are rarely seen in the wild. Adult males weigh up to 200 pounds (about the weight of an adult man), and adult females up to 120 pounds.  This animal is identified by its large size, cat-like appearance, uniformly gray to reddish-tan body color, and long tail – nearly three feet (1 m) long and a third of its total length. The muzzle and chest are white and there are black markings on the face, ears and tip of the tail. Cougar kittens have black spots until they are about 6 months old. Cougars live about 10 to 20 years in the wild and over 20 years in captivity.

Other than humans, cougars are the most widely distributed land mammal in the Western Hemisphere. Cougars range from northwestern Canada to Patagonia, South America.  Cougars make their dens in rocky ledges, dense thickets and under uprooted trees.

Cougars hunt primarily from dusk till dawn (sunset to sunrise). Their primary prey is deer, but they also eat porcupines, raccoons, birds, small mammals, foxes, mice, and grass.  After the cougar is finished feeding on prey, it will cover the carcass (dead animal) with leaves and sticks to save it for another day.

Did you know?

  • A cougar can jump upward 18 feet from a sitting position. They can leap up to 40 feet horizontally

Information collected from

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