The Mysterious Elusive Puma

this photo borrowed from the article linked below

The Puma is also known in english as the cougar or mountain lion. These are not small kitties! They can get up to 150 pounds though they still purr like their smaller domestic cousins. They don’t meow, it sounds more like a high pitched scream. Glad I haven’t heard it especially while I was living in my tent last summer 🙂

They are found throughout Chile but are more predominant in less populated areas. Our neighbors warned us that cubs had been seen on our property several years ago but they usually don’t venture much down into the farmlands unless it’s been a long lean winter and they need some fresh lamb meat. I haven’t heard of them eating cows but some friends of ours lost a llama in a mysterious way. They found the dead body with large hunks taken out of its belly.

Some acquaintances of ours who own a farm on the western shore of Lago Llanquihue, the opposite side of the lake from the Andes and the large tracts of uninhabited land, found an abandoned puma cub trapped in a ditch. They took the protected animal and fed it until it was old enough to fend for itself. That was probably highly illegal but no harm was done as they didn’t buddy up with the animal and they did release it to the wild. I was kind of surprised to hear that it was found there as the area is predominantly farmland.

Here is a link to a short video with some great footage of a puma and her cubs

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/chile_puma

And another link to a beautiful article on tracking pumas in Torres del Paine Park in the far south of Patagonia from The Telegraph UK

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Chile-on-the-trail-of-the-elusive-puma/