April 20, 2013 by: Ann Harwood
Montana Cougars of Western Montana
Montana Cougar at the Mission Dam Reservoir
Photo by Eugene Beckes, Friend of Bear Spirit Lodge
The graceful, sleek Cougars of western Montana are solitary and shy by nature. The Cougar in this picture was photographed by my neighbor and friend, Eugene Beckes. He was at the Mission Dam Reservoir photographing birds when his dogs treed this beautiful, incredible Cougar.
The Cougar, also know as Mountain Lion and Puma, live in wild places like forests and mountains. They are predators and carnivores. Their favorite foods are wild deer and domesticated house cats. They target house cats, because they consider them like baby cougars - competition for food in the future. The typical Cougar eats 10 pounds of meat a day - that's 40 hamburgers or more!
The typical Cougar weighs 100-145 pounds and up to 185 pounds, is lean and very little body fat. They can leap 30-45 feet from a standstill or leap 15 feet straight up a cliff. Very powerful and strong, they may live up to 15-18 years in the wild.
Very rare to see one in the wild in Montana. Human encounters with the Cougar in the wild are very rare. They are the fastest animal in North America and can run 40 miles per hour! Many people who have experienced seeing a Cougar in the wild say it is like catching a fleeting glimpse of something more a shadow than reality.
In 15 years, there have been only 2 Cougars spotted here at Bear Spirit Lodge.
We live in balance here in Nature. Come see us soon!