- Mountain lions are large, tan-colored wild cats that are native to central, northern, and South America – where they live in forested and mountainous habitats, wetlands, and deserts.
- Mountain lions are also called cougar, puma, catamount, and panther.
- It is common for mountain lions to travel long distances around their territories (which are usually around 30 square miles) as they look for water, food, shelter, and a mate. When their habitats have been encroached upon, the big cats may decide to rest on someone’s front porch.
Taking stray cats in is one thing but finding a mountain lion on your porch is on a whole new level. This individual did not seem in a hurry to leave either! The householder had to knock on the glazed door several times before this particular big cat decided to move.
Mountain Lions in the Wild
Mountain lions are native to central, northern, and South America and they like forested and mountainous habitats but will also live in wetlands and deserts. They are large, tan-colored cats that are also called cougar, puma, catamount, and panther. Their prey includes coyotes, porcupines, raccoons, mule deer, and rabbits. Mountain lions are fast runners and can change direction very quickly as well as leap up to 20 feet into a tree!
It is usual for mountain lions to travel long distances around their territories (which are usually around 30 square miles) as they look for water, food, shelter, and a mate. But the presence of human activity presents a risk to them both in terms of accidental injury and hunting. In some areas, it is possible to get a permit that allows you to kill mountain lions.
Research Into Mountain Lions in Urban Areas
There seem to be more and more videos circulating of mountain lions in urban and suburban settings. However, traditionally, this species has been described as shy and as an animal that avoids human contact. They prefer to have a solitary lifestyle in their territory. Research has been conducted into the effect of human development on mountain lion populations around Los Angeles, California. Half of the natural landscape in this area is a perfect habitat for mountain lions but this is now being encroached upon by house buildings, highways, commercial development, and recreational use including hiking trails.
The research found that female mountain lions are found more often than males near urban environments. This is thought to be because there is more prey there because it is attracted to the improved vegetation. This also allows them to avoid having to compete with the males in the more rural locations. For these animals, there is a trade-off between the risks of getting close to humans and the food that is available in urban areas. It also means that sightings like the one recorded in this footage are likely to become more common.
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