Home » Exhibits » Mammals » Mountain Lion
Scientific Name: Felis concolor
Range & Habitat: Forests, mountains, swamps and dry scrubs of Canada, Western United States, Central and South America
Size: Weigh 80-200 pounds with a total length of 6- 8 ½ feet
Life Span: 12-18 years; over 20 in captivity
Gestation: 90-96 days; 3-4 young
Wild Diet: Small rodents, rabbits, deer, elk and other large animals
Zoo Diet: Carnivore diet, rats, mice, hard boiled eggs, bones
Habits: The mountain lion is also known as the cougar or puma. Mountain lions are large, powerful cats with muscular limbs and large feet. Their tails are long, cylindrical, and about one-third of the animal's total length. They can leap up to 20 feet in a single jump.
They are typically a solitary animal, with the exception of mothers and their young. Abundant prey allows cats to survive in smaller areas. Where ranges overlap, mountain lions rarely use the same localities at the same time. They advertise land occupancy largely by the depositing of urine, feces, and making scrapes on the ground.
Mountain lions make many sounds, including a humanlike scream when courting, but cannot roar. Males and females pair only during breeding seasons. Litters range from 1-6 spotted cubs.
Status: Absent from Missouri for decades, sightings in the Ozarks have been increasing in recent years where deer, their primary prey, are abundant.