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The Mountain Lion (felis concolor), is also known by many other names: cougar, puma, deer tiger, Mexican lion, mountain screamer, brown tiger, catamount, silver lion, mountain demon, Indian devil, purple feather, king cat, sneak cat, and panther. It is the second largest cat in the Americas and is the largest member of the cat family living in Yellowstone Park.
Male mountain lions can weigh more than 220 lbs and attain lengths of 8 feet. Females are smaller, staying at around 140 lbs and reaching 6 feet in length. In Yellowstone the average weight is 140-160 lbs. A mountain lion is generally a solitary animal and can stake out a home range of up to 100 square miles. Currently, the lion population is estimated to be 18-24 animals.
The Yellowstone mountain lions reside throughout the park during the summer, but can be found most often in the northern range of the park where prey is available year-round. They stalk mostly elk and deer and porcupine, but will usually take what opportunity provides.
The mountain lion is a predator of extraordinary capabilities. Some males can make running long jumps that have exceeded 45 feet with vertical leaps up to 15 feet. Although no documented mountain lion attacks on humans have occurred in Yellowstone, there have been attacks in other areas of the West in recent years. Visitors should obey park rules concerning wildlife, use common sense when camping, and as with any large wild animal, avoid confrontational behavior.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Compass American Guides: Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, 1st Edition by Brian Kevin. Fodor's Compass American Guides have a new design and practical information you need to make the most of your visit to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Easy-to-use practical information you need to get around and experience the best of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Order now...
The Concise Visitor's Guide to Yellowstone by Matt Bolton. Sized perfectly for backpacks this guide offers specifics on food, what to see, children's activities, weather, wildlife, seasonal road closures, ranger programs, visitor centers, what differentiates each section of the park and more. Filled with information, phone numbers, web sites, and detailed maps this is the tool to use when planning a trip to Yellowstone. Order now...
Moon Spotlight Yellowstone National Park by Don Pitcher. 80-page compact guide covering must-see attractions and maps with sightseeing highlights. This lightweight guide is packed with recommendations on sights, entertainment, shopping, recreations, accommodations, food, and transportation, as well as easy-to-read maps. Order now...
National Geographic Park Profiles: Yellowstone Country by Seymour L. Fishbein. Yellowstone Country tours the stunning region that includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, a mosaic of national forests, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, countless waterfalls, hot springs and two-thirds of the world's active geysers. Order now...
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