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Puma concolor

Did you know?

  • Pumas are part of the Felidae family, which they share with other cats.
  • They are also known as mountain lions, panthers, cougars and catamounts.
  • They live in a diverse range of habitats in North, Central and South America.
  • A female puma usually has two to four cubs in a litter, though she can have up to six.
  • They cannot roar, but they can make other noises.


Pumas are one of the largest North American cats. They have strong back legs, giving them the ability to jump vertically around 20 feet (about six meters). They have a flexible spine, which helps them turn quickly. Many adaptations that enable cats to be exceptional predators are seen in this species, including sharp, retractable claws and large teeth.

A Large Range

Other than humans, pumas have the largest range of any terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere. They are a very successful species, and it is thought that they are called by many different names because they have been found in and named by many different countries.

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild


The puma or mountain lion is widespread and abundant.


Southwestern Canada, Western United States, Mexico, Central and South America


Forests, grasslands, deserts

We care about pumas

Although they are not endangered, pumas are disappearing from much of their range because of human activity. Conservation threats to the puma include human persecution, environmental degradation, habitat fragmentation and prey depletion.

We support pumas at the Saint Louis Zoo. Additionally, the Saint Louis Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for pumas.

Learn more about our conservation efforts: Dedicated to Conservation

Find this animal in Red Rocks


Red Rocks

At Red Rocks, you’ll view some of the world’s most powerful predators living near some of the world’s most graceful prey. Lions, tigers, zebra and giraffes all share the natural rocky boulders and outcroppings as their territory. With shading trees and a bird or two among the mammals, Red Rocks is a great place to spend a day at the Saint Louis Zoo.

Explore Red Rocks