Brent is our resident mountain lion. He has been at the zoo since he was a cub.
Description Puma concolor means lion of one color. Adult mountain lions have a tan-colored coat – much like an african lion – but are slighter in build with a head that is smaller in proportion to its body. A mountain lion’s heavy tail, measures almost one-third of the lion’s total length.
Diet Mountain lions are generalist predators – they will eat any animal they can catch, from insects to large animals like elk, deer and bighorn sheep.
Reproduction There is no specific mating season for mountain lions, although most of the time it is between December and March. During mating, the male and female will stay together for 3-10 days until they depart from each other. Mountain lions are polygamous animals, meaning they mate with several others. A female’s gestation period is 90 days until she gives birth to 1 to 4 cubs. The cubs are born with spots, which usually disappear by the time they are roughly nine months old. Their eyes also change from blue to yellow by the time they reach 16 months old. By 18 months, the young cats leave their mom to go fend for themselves. Only about 1 in 6 mountain lion cubs survive to adulthood.
- Other Names: Cougar, catamount, puma, panther, painter, red tiger, deer tiger, ghost cat, mountain screamer
- Scientific Name: Puma concolor
- Conservation Status: Least concern
- Lifespan: 9 to 12 years
- Body Length: Males– 6 to 8 feet from nose to tail tip Females 5 to 7 feet
- Weight: Males– 110 to 180lbs. Females– 80 to 130 pounds
- Gestation: 90 days
- Number of Young: Two to four cubs per litter, and give birth in a den.
Did You Know?
- Largest of the small cats; fourth largest cat species worldwide.
- Their powerful hind legs enable them to jump as far as 40 to 45 feet (12 to 13 meters) in distance and can jump as high as 15 feet.
- They can sprint up to 50 miles per hour.
- Mountain lions are the largest cats that purr.