Mountain lion, puma, cougar, panther: the most wide-ranging large carnivore in the Western hemisphere goes by many names. Known scientifically as Puma concolor, it is capable of taking down prey many times its own weight. But while mountain lions are skilled predators who deserve respect, there is more to them than that.
The new short film The Secret Life of Mountain Lions provides a rare glimpse into the lesser-known aspects of puma behavior. By following cougar families with remote cameras, scientists with Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project have been able to capture incredible footage of these shy cats. They documented mothers comforting their children during times of stress, sharing meals with their cubs’ fathers, and even adopting orphaned kittens. Such findings cast doubt on age-old myths that portray mountain lions as heartless killers.
This video has to be seen to be believed, so I have embedded it below. Also, I recommend taking the time to check out The Secret Life of Mountain Lions’ web page. There you will find information about cougars and their conservation, a list of resources for further learning, and an opportunity to sign up for webinars about these remarkable cats. There is one coming up on September 28, so be sure to register now!
Without further ado, here is The Secret Life of Mountain Lions. Many thanks to my friend Sandy for sharing it with me, and to Dr. Mark Elbroch for making it publicly available.