Michael is a male Western Cougar (Puma concolor), born in 2005. Michael came to us from Oregon and was named in memory of Michael Chestnut Jr., his lifetime sponsor. He underwent two surgeries to help correct his birth defects, and is doing very well. Though he may appear to walk around his enclosure with irregular movements, he is pain free. The Foundation is committed to providing everything he needs to have quality of life.
Cougars are also known as a Pumas, Panthers, or Mountain Lions. The cougar hunts alone by day or night, and will hide its food, if large enough, in dense undergrowth, and return to it over several days. Its prey consists of large animals such as deer, and smaller mammals including mice, squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, rabbits, and beavers. It is big enough to tackle larger prey such as domestic cattle and horses, for which it has earned a bad reputation with livestock farmers. In hunting, the cougar uses the strength of its powerful hind legs to lunge at its prey with single running jumps that can reach in excess of 40 feet. Cougars have a small, broad head with small rounded ears, a powerful body with long hind legs and black-tipped tail. Their coats are their camouflage to keep them hidden from predators, and their color and size reflect the area they are from. Redder tints are common among darker soils such as mountainous areas, whereas the more beige tints are common with cougars from desert areas.
Cougars come from all parts of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and live in all types of habitats. In general the size and coloration of the cougar varies greatly across its range, which stretches from south west Canada down the western states of North America and throughout most western parts of the South American Continent. Aside from humans, the cougar has the largest range of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
Cougars in Texas and in California are not endangered. However, the subspecies Florida Panther, is. There are as few as 50 of the Florida Panthers that now survive in the wild.
|Body Length||3.5 – 5.5 ft, tail 2 – 2.5 ft|
|Body Height||2 – 2.3 ft|
|Body Weight||110 – 180 lbs, females slightly less|
|Gestation Period||82 – 96 days|
|Number of Offspring||2 – 4 cubs|
|Lifespan||In Wild 12 yrs; In Captivity up to 25 yrs|