Cougar (Mountain Lion)
Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park offers ideal habitat for cougars: shade to escape the heat, rugged terrain in which to ambush prey and nooks to eat carcasses in private. Typically solitary, males and females travel together only during the few days out of the year when they are mating.
These agile cats actually lived across the United States until European settlers encroached. By the early 1900s, nearly all cougars east of the Rocky Mountains had been exterminated, like most other large predators in North America. Cougars are now making a comeback in some areas—even developed ones, where the risk of conflict with humans is real.
Diorama site: Point Sublime, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Range: Cougars are now returning to some areas they once occupied. They may adapt to developed areas if they are not hunted and can cross roads safely.
Did You Know?
Cougars are also called mountain lions, although they are not closely related to lions in Africa. They are also called pumas, Florida panthers, catamounts and painters.