Cougar

Puma concolor

  • Classification: Mammal
  • Lifespan in Captivity: 20-30yrs
  • Lifespan in the Wild: 8-10yrs
  • Length: 4-9ft
  • Weight: 75-250lbs
  • Height: 2.5ft (at shoulder)
  • Range: Western Hemisphere, Canada to South America, small dwindling population in Florida
  • Habitat: mountainous, coniferous forests, dry brush land, grasslands, swamps, lowland tropics, anywhere with adequate cover and prey
  • Diet: Carnivore
    • Diet in the Wild: small mammals, large game
    • Diet at Wildlife Images: donated meats, venison, poultry

2009-10-15 12.19.18

The cougar has the greatest natural distribution of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere (with the exception of humans). They can be found roaming from Canada all the way to Patagonia. In some areas, they are threatened due to habitat loss. Cougars are extremely agile and can leap to great heights; a cougar may leap 18ft off the ground into a tree. They have long, thick tails that help them to balance, paw pads built for quiet walking, and retractable claws—all special adaptations to ensure adept stalking abilities to hunt their prey. Solitary animals, with the exception of mothers and offspring, cougars roam a territory of 50 – 150 square miles, depending on their age. Cougars are classified as “lesser cats” as opposed to “great cats” such as lions, tigers, and jaguars.

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