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Historically, the cougar ranged throughout the Americas. In North America, the cougar still roams the western half of the continent and a small population survives in southern Florida. As a predator, the cougar plays an important role in controlling and maintaining healthy prey populations, especially of white-tailed deer. In areas where the cougar has disappeared, such as the eastern United States, the deer population has exploded. Too many deer eat too many saplings and threaten the forest’s ability to thrive.

Front View of a Cougar Walking

Did You Know?

Cat of Many Names: The cougar is known by many different names, including mountain lion, puma, and panther.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Puma concolor

Western North America, Florida, and Central and South America

Desert, savannah, tropical rainforest, forest, scrubland, and mountain areas

3.4 to 6.4 ft

13 yrs

Zoo Location:
Cat Canyon

Mammals ranging in size from mice to white-tailed deer