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Cougar: The Lion of the Americas

 

The Cougar is a powerful, graceful and supremely adaptable feline, that is alsoMountain Lion referred to as a mountain lion, panther, puma, or catamount. No matter what you call them, its still the same cat. So why does it have so many names? The main reason is because it has such a large range. People from different areas and different countries called it different things. Despite their large size, the cougar is not a true "big cat". The cougar is a member of the felidae family, as opposed to the panthera family of the tiger and lion. The largest of the small cats, cougars can weigh 90 to 150 lbs and reach about 8 feet in length from nose to tail. They have proportionally the most powerful hind legs of any cats, with amazing jumping ability of 18 feet vertically and up to 20 to 40 feet horizontally.

 

Once hunted to near extinction, has made a terrific comeback. In parts of the eastern united states, there have been repot of cougars. Not too long ago, they were thought to be extinct in these areas. Preferring to avoid people whenever they can, they live a solitary life.

 

Mountain lions prefer wild areas frequented by deer, butMountain Lion on a rock they do eat beavers, rabbits, porcupines, raccoons, birds, small mammals, foxes, mice, and grass. They prefer wild prey, but they will take sheep in areas where these are easily available as well as calves, foals, cats and even dogs. One mountain lion  can eat a deer a week. Lions are known to hide the remains of their meat, feeding on it for days, or until it spoils. If by chance you find a killed animal thought to be a mountain lions, leave the area immediately as they are most likely near by.

 

After a gestation of 82 to 96 days, 1 to 6 cubs are born. Cubs will ramin at their mothers side for a year or more. Normally leaving between 14 and 18 months of age. Males will start looking for their own territories. Females have been known to stay near and even in their mothers territory.