- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some facts about the cougar, also known as mountain lion, puma, panther and catamount:

_ The animal once ranged throughout North America, except in the extreme north. It was gradually wiped out in most of the eastern U.S. as land was cleared for agriculture and forests were cut. Hunters also killed the cats.

_ A favorite prey is deer, an animal whose population in the eastern U.S. dropped extremely low by the early 1900s because of hunting.

_ Adult male cougars can weigh 115 to 200 pounds and females are 80 to 120 pounds. The cougar is the fourth largest cat in the world and the second largest, behind the jaguar, in North America.

_ Attacks on humans are rare but have occurred in the western U.S. and Canada as people moved into cougar habitat.

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Sources: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and The Cougar Network, a nonprofit group dedicated to studying the animal and its role in ecosystems.


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