Lion, Mountain

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Physical Characteristics

Cougars have a tawny brown coat and are usually between 3 to 5 feet long not including their long tails. Their lighter build makes them ideal for ambush and short pursuit of prey.

Habitat & Diet

Cougars live in a wide array of environments. From the swampy inlands of Florida, where the critically endangered Florida panther subspecies resides, to the Rocky Mountains, to the high deserts and forests of the west coast, mountain lions have found success in almost every climate in the Americas. They are carnivores that consist mainly off of deer and small mammals like raccoons. They will hide large kills and live off of them for several days when possible.

Social Behavior

Cougars are solitary creatures. Males stake out territory only tolerating encroachment from females ready to mate. Usually there will only be a few cats living in a 30 square mile radius.

Sources

Meet our Residents

Fascinating Facts

    • They are in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most names, such as: Mountain Lion, Puma, Cougar, Painter, Purple Feather, Catamount, Screecher and Screamer, to name just a few.
    • Mountain lions are the largest feline species that purrs! They are the closest big cat relative to common house cats.
    • The amazing agility possessed by cougars allows them to leap as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet! They use this ability to great effect when hunting, where they will often bring down prey by pouncing.

Status In The Wild

Though they have rebounded well, cougar populations were drastically reduced during the great expansion westward. Their former range was once all of what is now the continental United States, but they frequently came into conflict with settlers bringing livestock and were hunted heavily as a result. They were pushed out of the east and mid-west, however recent sightings of the cat in Missouri has led some to speculate the species may be able to re-take some of their former range. That is, if humans can co-exist with the proud predator.

Waystation Residents

Our sanctuary is home to many cougars coming to us from multiple situations. Click on the resident pictures to meet some of our animals!

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