The mountain lion is a solitary, nocturnal hunter employing a combination of stealth and power. This cat will stalk its prey until the opportunity arrives to pounce and attack with the fatal bite on the neck. If the prey is large enough, this big cat will hide the carcass and feed on it for several days.
Mountain Lion (Puma/Cougar)
Distribution: Forest, desert, grassland, shrubland and savanna in southwestern Canada, the western United States, Mexico, Central America and South America. An isolated population of the Florida panther subspecies can be found in Florida’s Everglades.
Diet in the Wild: Deer, raccoons, armadillo, feral pigs
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Feline diet, rats, rabbits, fish and eggs
IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population decreasing
Threats: Habitat fragmentation and loss, poaching of prey, hunting by humans, collisions with vehicles
The mountain lion is commonly referred to as a cougar, puma, or panther
Mountain lions used to inhabit the entire eastern half of North America. They were pushed out within 200 years of European colonization, though small a sub-population remains in Florida. Attempts to bolster this sub-population have included the reintroduction of mountain lions from Texas.
The mountain lion has one of the widest distributions of the mammals in the Western Hemisphere.