Watch a Puma Keep Its Head on a Swivel After Taking Down a Huge Guanaco

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Mountain lion stares into camera
© Kwadrat/Shutterstock.com

This puma needs to take a breather after chasing and capturing a guanaco. Yet, while she rests before her meal she cannot completely relax. She is constantly monitoring the environment for competitors who may want to steal her kill from her. Click below to see the magnificent footage of this wonderful predator standing guard over her prey.

Where Do Pumas Normally Live?

Mountain lion with forest background

Pumas are the fourth largest of the ‘big cats’.

©Evgeniyqw/Shutterstock.com

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Pumas (Puma concolor cougar) are also called mountain lions and cougars. This footage was captured just outside Torres del Paine National Park in far southern Chile. We know that Patagonia has one of the highest densities of pumas. There are between 50 and 200 pumas in this area which covers 227,000 hectares. It is fairly common to spot mountain lions in suburban areas in California and they have even been seen as far east as Kansas City. There is also a small population of Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi).

They can survive in a wide range of habitats including forests, grassland, dry brushlands, and swamps. All they need is a source of food and dense vegetation and/or rocks in caves to hide out in.

What Do Pumas Look Like?

Juvenile Mountain lion cougar panther, puma, cub, feline, big cat. Native to the Americas, its range spans from the Canada to the South America and is the most widespread of North America.

These cats go by many names, including cougar, puma, and mountain

lion

.

©Holly S Cannon/Shutterstock.com

Pumas are the fourth largest ‘big cat’ on the planet. The pumas living in Patagonia are often bigger than those in North America. This is because the living conditions are more favorable.

Male pumas way up to 180 pounds, although in Patagonia, they can reach 220 pounds. The maximum length is about eight feet.

Overall, they are slender cats with short and coarse coats. In terms of coloration, it can vary from a yellowish brown to a gray-brown color. Their throat and chest are whitish cream.

How Do Pumas Normally Hunt?

Mountain lions can reach 50 mph in short bursts.

Mountain lions can reach 50 mph in short bursts.

©iStock.com/slowmotiongli

Pumas are carnivores and target a wide range of prey across their range. The Patagonia pumas prefer guanaco. In North America, however, they target deer, moose, and elk. To supplement larger kills, pumas will pick up smaller animals, including squirrels, beavers, and rabbits. Some have been seen eating snails and fish. Their ability to catch domestic livestock, including poultry, calves, and sheep, brings them into conflict with local human populations.

Sometimes, pumas will cache a larger carcass – hiding it with leaves and debris so that they can return to feed on it later. Pumas can get their prey stolen by other predators, including wolves and even other pumas! This one is wise to be alert!


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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