SPECIES FACT FILE
Scientific name: Puma concolor
English names: Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma
Bolivian names: León, Puma
At la Senda Verde: 1 female, Espumita
Average Lifespan: 8 – 13 years (Free)
Speed: 64 – 80 km/h (Running)
Height: 60 – 90 cm (Adult, at the shoulder)
Body Weight: Male: 53 – 100 kg (Adult), Female: 29 – 64 kg (Adult)
Length: Male: 2.4 m (Adult), Female: 2 m (Adult)
Pumas are most famous for being the terrestrial mammal with the widest range in the western hemisphere. There is no ecosystem in North, Central and South America where this feline can’t make a living. Their range once being all the habitats existent in the America’s, it has drastically reduced due to European early colonisation, especially in eastern north America, where it is considered extinct, except for a subspecies still living in the Florida peninsula, Puma concolor coryi.
The most common name this feline gets comes from early Spanish explorers who called them Leon (Lion), and gato de monte (mountain cat); deriving into today’s common used name “Mountain Lion”. Another name, Cougar, they get from a South American amazon native word Cuguacuarana. Puma is also a native word that comes from the Andean highlands and the Inca’s language, Quechua, and is the most commonly used name to refer to this species, including part of his scientific name. You can also hear people refer to them as Panthers, which is a name given to any feline that has a single coloured coat, amongst them Black Jaguars and Pumas.
They are the fourth heaviest feline in the world, after the Lion, the Tiger and the Jaguar, though they are not closely related. Curiously, they are not the smallest of the large cats, rather, the largest of the small cats. They are very agile, strong, can jump up to twenty meters and have all types of different prays, but tend to prefer large pray like deer and capybaras. They are ambush hunters, good stalkers, silent, shy and futile. Though they could be considered the king predator, they do compete for pray with Jaguars, Grey Wolves, Black and Grizzly bears, and will avoid a confrontation with any other animal, including humans.
PUMA FUN FACTS
- Some mountain lions eat porcupines, quills and all, apparently without any harm.
- Mountain lions are the stealthiest of cats, hunting prey two to three times their own size.
- Mountain lions can growl, hiss, mew, yowl, squeak, spit, and purr to get their message across with other cats, and they are known for a short, high-pitched scream and a whistle-like call.
AT LA SENDA VERDE:
Espumita is a female Puma that arrived in January 2016 to LSV when she was very little, only two or three months of age. Large felines require a lot of space and that is not something easily available at La Senda Verde, hence we avoid receiving large felines. But there was no other place for her to go, so we had to shelter her.
She is the only Puma and the largest feline we have at La Senda Verde. We have been caring well for her for a while and were urged to construct an enclosure before she grew larger and needed more space. This occurred in the span of one year and five months, look at her, she is really big.
IMAGES OF ESPUMITA