Cougar information

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Tonka jpgThe cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, catamount, (and many other names!) is the second largest feline species in the New World, after the Jaguar.The cougar also has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, ranging from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America.  

The cougar is an ambush predator and pursuesa wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are ungulates, which includesdeer, such as mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. Other ungulates itpreys on are bighorn sheep, as well as domestic animals, particularly inthe northern part of its range. Cougars will also hunt species as small asinsects and rodents.

This cat prefers habitats with denseunderbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas.The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities.Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance ofprey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding tothe jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It isreclusive and mostly avoids people.


Phillips Park Zoo currently cares for onemale cougar, named 'Tonka.  'Tonka was brought to the zoo in 2005, and is13 years old.  He spends his days resting on the ledge over his shift door(he can see into the park, to the north, from this vantage point!) or hiding inhis shady outdoor den.  

The zoo is planning on some renovations tothe enclosure and building in the near future!

Phillips Park Zoo currently cares for one male cougar, named 'Tonka.  'Tonka was brought to the zoo in 2005, and is 13 years old.  He spends his days resting on the ledge over his shift door (he can see into the park, to the north, from this vantage point!) or hiding in his shady outdoor den.  The zoo is planning on some renovations to the enclosure and building in the near future!                      


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