Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma

(Puma concolor)


Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The Cougar is a big, uniformly tawny-brown to greyish coloured cat with a long body and a rather long tail. The head-body-length is 105-180 cm, tail length is 60-90 cm. The weight is 35-72 kg. Females a smaller than males. The head is relatively small, with conspicuous black patches on the muzzle. The ears are short and rounded, and black on the backside. Juvenile are marked with dark spots on the head, body and legs, and with stripes on the tail. This markings disappear at an age of about six months.

Did you know?
That the mountain lion is found over a wider range than any other mammal in the western hemisphere?


Name (Scientific) Puma concolor
Name (English) Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma
Name (French) Puma, Cougar, Lion des montagnes
Name (German) Puma
Name (Spanish) Puma
Local names Brasil: Onca vermelha, leão
Guaraní: Yaguá pytá
Mapuche: Trapial
Uruguay: León bayo
USA: Cougar, Mountain lion, Catamount
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Ask Joanna



Range North and South America
Habitat In different types of forests, lowland and montane deserts, swamps, grassland, or any other area with adequate cover and prey.
Wild population The Canadian population: 3,500-5,000; western US population: 10,000 (1990s); Central and South America: much higher, although it is unclear (1996) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 353 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma


How this animal should be transported

Transport crates should be sufficiently large to meet legal requirements, sufficiently strong to prevent escape or damage to the crate and animal, and have an adequate number of handles. Basic design should allow free flow of air through multiple sides of the container. A double door design on each end of the crate should be used. The "inner" door on each end should have bars to contain the animal, and the "outer" door should consist of a thin panel of expanded metal that provides safety for the handlers. The doors on each end of the crate should travel vertically to facilitate animal transfer and contain a secure locking system. The crate should drain well, and absorbent bedding should be used to prevent the animal from being exposed to or lying in urine or excreta. The crate should be of a size that allows easy lifting, transport and movement through doorways.


The shipment should be organised in a way to minimise stress. The animal should have access to its transport crate for 2 weeks before shipment, preferably being fed within it. If an extended trip is anticipated, water and eventually food should be provided while the animal is in transit. Ideally one of the animal's keepers should accompany it during transport, providing for its care and helping it adjust to the new environment.


For air transport, Container Note 72 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Stephen Lea

Why do zoos keep this animal

Although locally rare or extinct, the cougar is not yet an endangered species. It is kept primarily by zoos in North, Central and South America for educational reasons because it is an important element of their native fauna. In Europe and elsewhere the cougar has become rare in zoos as it has largely been replaced by endangered cat species, such as snow leopard.