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Mountain Lion or Cougar

The Mountain Lion is North Americas largest and most wide ranging cat. They are shy and elusive. They live solitary lives interacting with other cougars only during mating. The Mountain Lion is known by multiple other names: cougar, puma, catamount, and panther.

At one time Mountain Lions were at home across most of North America. Due to over hunting and habitat loss around 1900 the cougars primary range was reduced to mountainous areas of the west.
Cougar Range
Cougar Range map

Do to conservation efforts efforts over the last 30 years the cougars population has rebounded significantly in most areas of the west. This population has forced many of the younger cats to spread out in search of a territory of their own with proper food and cover.

Thanks to tracking units we are now able to learn much more about the dispersal habit of cougars. In one study 65 lions were collared in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We now know at least one of the cats traveled more than 450 miles when it was shot by a hunter in Montana 3 years latter. Other cats from the study had traveled to Oklahoma and Minnesota.


Over the past decade there have been thousands of reported sightings and numerous confirmed cougars in eastern states the cougars once called home.

There is a lot of debate concerning how the cougars got there and some have been proven to have been from the south American, which are generally where captive cougars come from. So most if not all of those are surely escaped or released pets.

More information on Eastern Cougars Sightings.

Tell us about your Cougar sighting.

The increase in the number of big cats and the expansion back into areas where these animals haven't been seen in a hundred years isn't something a everyone is thrilled about. Farmers and ranchers are rightly concerned about their stock and and it's affects on there livelihood. There have been and will be some attacks on domesticated animals. These are wild animals looking for food to survive. However, I think most will find adequate numbers of deer that they will not not have to resort to preying on domestic animals. Especially if we do our part by deterring where possible.

Live stock are not the only domestic animals falling victim to mountains. There seems to be an increase in pet incidents. Mostly cats and dogs. Although rare, there have also been humans killed by mountain lions.

More information on Eastern Cougars Sightings.

Tell us about your Cougar sighting.

Cougar tracks are
Cougar Track

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