Description: The Mountain Lion, sometimes called the Puma or Cougar, is the largest wild cat found in Canada and the United States. A beautiful animal, the Mountain Lion is mostly light brown or reddish- brown with black markings about the face. Mountain Lions have bright yellow eyes. Male Mountain Lions can weigh over 150 pounds, and can measure up to eight feet long from head to the tip of the tail.
Diet/Status: The Mountain Lion feeds on a wide variety of mammals including deer, wapiti, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, hares and even rodents. Mule Deer constitute a major portion of their diet, and Mountain Lions can survive off 14-20 per year.
Habitat/Range: There have been several recent reports of Mountain Lions preying upon humans in California as well as them venturing into suburban neighborhoods. Mountain Lions, however, are normally extremely wary and are rarely seen by people. Mountain Lions are found throughout the mountainous sections of western North and South America. Mountains Lions have been virtually extirpated in the Appalachian Mountains of the east, but recent reports have suggested they may be making a comeback.
Behavior/Young: Cougars are largely solitary, nocturnal animals. Females give birth to one to four kittens in a rocky crevice or den. Young Mountain Lions stay with their mothers for about 15 months. Males have no part in raising young. Most Mountain Lions live between 10 and 12 years in the wild.
A proposed experiment which involved killing 50 percent of the Mountain Lion population in Oregon to observe the effect on Elk populations has been struck down in court.