|Cougar (Puma concolor) resting on a stump in North Carolina. The cougar or Mountain lion can be one very temperamental big cat.|
This is an image of a Cougar resting on a stump. In the United States, the cougar is a symbol of strength and in some cases based on the circumstances terror. Cougars are known by many titles its scientific name (Puma concolor). Other titles or names
for this mammal are a puma, mountain lion, catamount, or panther. In fact, the genius P. concolor holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most different names, it is known by at least 40 different names, in English alone.
In the United States, they are generally found in the west except isolated sightings in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. I saw an image of a cougar approaching a hunter taking a picture of a trophy buck that was shot in the UP in Michigan. For years, in the upper Midwest, the states particularly Michigan, denied the existence of cougars in the state. Later after a hunter hit one with his car, after a hunting trip, the state DNR admitted to having a transplanting program with the mammals.
Looking at the image of the Cougar itself, the eyes are extremely intimidating. Even though you know as far as animals go you know they are not good or evil the eyes would make a good case for an evil or sneaky animal. Native Americans had mixed views and legends about the animals. Some believed that their roar was the bringer of death, others believed that they actually resided in the underworld and were evil, while yet still others revere the animal as a sacred beast. Even at rest the cougar can be dangerous and seems somewhat temperamental. Extreme caution should be exercised when experiencing them in the wild.
This image was taken of a Cougar in captivity so it was safe to get close. I do not recommend getting this close to any predatory animal in the wild. I enjoyed observing them for some time before taking this image. They do act something like a house cat, a large house cat. The Mountain Lion, in the wild, is rather fearless but does not necessarily pursue confrontation by humans. In fact, they typically flee confrontation with a man unless they have become accustomed to humans being around or if the animal has become cornered.
They are carnivores and hunt with quick efficiency. They can run at speeds up to 35 miles an hour for short to moderate distances, therefore, in the wild, they can be a source of great danger quickly, primarily to livestock and small children when it comes to human habitation being affected by an attacking cougar.
In summary, these are beautiful large cats they can be very dangerous in some situations. Although they are rather rare east of the Mississippi they can be found occasionally in the upper Midwest, Florida, and believe it or not in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s also notable that they are found outside of the United States literally from South America and as far North as Canada.
The Cougar, due to its size and strength is the mascot for several Colleges and Universities from the count I found there are about 128 schools in the US who have the cougar as their mascot. The top 5 on one online list includes Washington State University, College of Charleston, University of Houston (UH), Brigham Young University (BYU), and St. Joseph’s College.
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