Puma (Puma concolor)
Cougar, mountain lion, red tiger, deer cat, mountain devil, royal cat, small panther - this is all the name of one cat. She also has a different name, more known to us - a puma. This is the name of the predator of the Quechua Indians.
This mammal of the cat family is widespread in America (from Canada to Patagonia) and has long been a symbol of these places. There are pumas on plains, in forests, in mountainous areas. They try to avoid waterlogged places, because their main rivals - jaguars live there. Cougars are quite common on our planet. Their population does not decrease, despite the fact that there is a constant hunt for these cats.
This is due to the fact that the pumas perfectly adapt to the new conditions.
The length of the body from the nose to the tip of the tail can reach 274 cm, height - 60-80 cm, and weight - almost 100 kg, and males are twice as large as females. Only in newborn kittens cougars there are sharply pronounced spots, and adult individuals are painted in one color. The color of their wool can be golden or gray-brown. The abdomen and chin are almost white, and the tail is dark. There are 24 sub-species of cougar. Little is known about some subspecies. The most famous is the Florida puma, a tawny cat with long paws.
Puma is a formidable predator. It is armed with four-centimeter fangs, which allow it to be easily cut with any prey. This cat is equally active both day and night. In this respect, they are led only by hunger. But most often their favorite time for hunting is twilight. And without that the noiseless animal becomes completely invisible. They like to wait for their prey, sitting on trees or rock offsets, on which they easily climb. When hunting pumas use the factor of surprise. Especially since this animal does not like running around - it quickly exhales. This is compensated for by silent sneaking and fantastic jumping: it can jump upwards by three meters or jump without fear from the height of a six-story house. Puma can attack also on large animals, for example, on deer or moose. She rushes at once to her throat and snacks it. A small victim can be knocked down with one blow by a strong paw, thereby breaking the cervical vertebrae. Their main food is mice, voles, prairie dogs, marmots, birds and monkeys. Very rarely puma attacks livestock.
Cougars live to about 20 years. These predators prefer to live and hunt alone, but within a few months after birth, the cubs live with their mother, who protects them and teaches them how to hunt. After the mother leaves them, the kittens stay together for a few more weeks, but then each starts an independent life. The territory of each individual extends at times to tens of square kilometers. The boundaries of the possessions are indestructible, and there is no fights for territories between the cougars: a cougar will not encroach on someone else's land, if they feel that she already has a "master". It happens that the puma is driven from its territory, then the cat is forced to look for a new one. Then they try to quickly pass other people's limits and settle on free territory. The path is not close. For example, Wyoming cougars were found for half a thousand kilometers - in Colorado.
Pumas rarely attack people, because this is a non-aggressive animal. On the contrary, the puma tries to be careful and get away from people. Rare cases of aggression are associated with the increased interest of hunters to this cat. In 1995, a real puma-killer appeared in Mexico, she rushed to all the people who met her on the way. From its claws killed 18 people. When the puma was caught and examined, it turned out that the cat was maimed. Apparently, some unskillful hunter did not kill the puma, but only wounded him. Cougar survived, but remained a cripple. Hence the ferocity towards people.
Compared to tigers or lions, the puma is less dangerous to humans. All fears of these animals are rather superstitious. So, for example, according to the belief of North American Indians, pumas are devilish animals. One roar of what it costs! Indeed, when the puma is angry, it emits a sound that is a bit like a locomotive signal. But in other cases she makes purring sounds, like domestic cats. Remember, if the puma is not injured, she will not attack the person, and she will try to leave. Therefore, when you meet this cat, you should not panic, you must behave carefully and wisely.