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WHAT IS THE PUMA?


The puma is North Americas second largest cat after the jaguar. It is a successful predator because it is highly adaptable to many different climates. The Puma likes to eat deer, elk, antelope and sheep. However in hotter climates they chase rodents, bats, lizards and large insects. Some of them even hunt horses. The puma has plain colors like the lion but it is abundent in different sizes.



Pumas in rainforests are smaller, reddish, with short bristly fur showing faint spots or horizontal stripes on the upper forelegs as adults. Those in colder climates, they are larger, with silvery fur that is longer and softer and donít have any spots. A black pumas was sighted once in South America. The fur is said to be sweet smelling!














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The puma lives up to 10 years in the wild and 21 in captivity because food and health care are easier to get. Females give birth to 2-6 cubs in each litter and they have a gestation period no longer then 96 days. Females become sexually mature at 2.5 years and the males at 3 just like many other big cat species. The Puma spends most of its time hunting and living alone and only comes together with other cats for mating and raising cubs. This cat is found anywhere from Alaska to Florida to South America and can live well in semi-deserts, grasslands, lowland rainforests and mountains. The puma can jump 6 meters straight up into the air. The only other cat equal to it in jumping is the snow leopard. Its hunting method is 80% effective. When a female is in heat, as many as 5 males may court her, fighting among themselves as they do. A mated pair may stay together for up to 2 weeks, mating up to 70 times a day. But females may still look for other mates. Females breed only once every 2-3 years.

 

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