A cat of many names, the Puma is also known as the Cougar, Panther or Mountain Lion. In general the size and coloration of the cat varies greatly across its range, which stretches from the south west of Canada down the western states of North America and throughout most western parts of the South American continent. In the north of its range and in higher mountainous regions the pumas coat is generally longer to provide additional protection against the extremes in temperature - the colour of the fur varies from slate grey, through yellow buff to light reddish brown. In appearance the puma has a small, broad head with small rounded ears, a powerful body with long hind legs and tail, which is tipped with black.
The puma hunts alone, by day or night and will cache its food, if large enough, in dense undergrowth, returning to it over several days. Comparable in size to the Leopard, the puma is big enough to tackle larger prey such as domestic cattle and horses, for which it has earnt a bad reputation with livestock farmers, as well as wild deer, sheep, rodents, rabbits, hare and beaver. In hunting the puma uses the strength of its powerful hind legs to lunge at its prey with single running jumps that can reach in excess of 40 feet