<strongThis mountain lion roamed in the State of Colorado.
Let's talk about Mountain Lions! They are definitely one of the BIG CATS that Yahweh created to roam His magnificent earth! Of course, before we go too far into talking about this beautiful "critter," do you think it is one that Yahweh created for food? (A clue here: all cats that the 'author' is aware of have "paws.") Now that we have that taken care of, what other information can we find about Mountain Lions?
Have you ever heard of a "cougar"? That is actually another name for the Mountain Lion. Based upon where you live, many times there are different names for the same thing. Not to get off the subject, but here in Eastern Pennsylvania, I may go into a store and ask for a "bag, please" to put groceries in. Yet, in parts of Western Pennsylvania (around McKeesport) at least many years back, they didn't know what a "bag" was--they called it a "poke." Another example was "soda" (like a cola, root beer, etc.) here was called "pop" out there. Language differences, that's all they are. Back to the Mountain Lion. Another name for the Mountain Lion is a "Puma," more specifically Puma Concolor as it's official name.
Mountain Lions are pretty sly and attacks on human beings are pretty rare. In fact, it is recommended that if you go into an area where you believe the cougars live, take a friend and a dog. They really prefer to avoid contact with humans as much as most humans want to avoid contact with them. In an area where there are mule deer, you can be pretty sure there are cougars since that is one of the animals the cougars feed on. Hmmmm, do you think the cougar knows that mule deer is an animal created for food for humans?
Do you know what the word "carnivores" mean? That's what cougars are--meat eaters and they usually hunt at the beginning and ending of the day (dawn and dusk). Although cougars eat most kinds of animals, their favorite meal appears to be deer. If you have a pussy cat, you probably know that cats are generally more active at night and sleep more during the day. They also are "carnivores," although you probably give them dry or canned cat food. What little "critter" do we KNOW cats like to chase, play with and kill? (Hint: It's pretty small with four little, bitty legs and a long skinny tail and, real important, many people set a certain type of trap for them!)
There are not as many mountain lions now as there had been because they were wiped out in many areas because they were a threat to the deer population. So the deer multiplied greatly and would starve to death because of there not being enough food to support the larger herds. Amazing, isn't it, how YAHWEH made everything in balance and then man came along thinking he knows better and threw everything out of balance!
When male cougars are around 3 years old and females 2 years old and older is when they are ready to have babies. The Momma is pregnant for anywhere from two to three months and she will usually have two or three kittens (also called "cubs"). The babies nurse for about eight weeks (just like household kittens and puppies!) and then follow Mommy around so she can teach them "the ropes," like how to hunt. They stay with their Mom for 1-1/2 to 2 years before leaving home to find their own territory. As you can see from the picture, the babies (like most ALL animal babies) are adorable!
Have you ever "tracked" an animal; or, perhaps in the snow, looked at different "foot prints" of animals (birds, dogs, cats, squirrels)? Most leave very good prints from which you can identify the source. Here is a picture of the paw prints a Mommy and Baby Mountain Lion leave:
An adult cougar may be from 5 to 6 feet long and the breadth of its shoulders will be from 24 to 28 inches across. They vary tremendously in size, but range from 80 to 230 pounds. Their life span is up to 22 years.
So, the next time you are out in YAHWEH's great creation, make certain you check for paw prints and perhaps you can see where this great big cat may roam in your area!
A big thank-you to Wonderclub for permitting us to use
some of their information and pictures! You can see more at www.wonderclub.com!