Imposing and feared by humans, although it does not usually attack them; the Andean puma is one of the few mammals that can adapt to almost any ecosystem; especially in areas of dense vegetation, as this allows it to go unnoticed by its possible prey.
Also known as the Andean lion or puma concolor (scientific name), it is the second largest feline in the Americas and the fourth in the world, after the lion, tiger and jaguar. It is characterized by being agile, elusive, silent and strong; usually avoid confrontations with other animals and/or people. Males can reach 100 kilograms in weight, while females can weigh up to 64 kilograms.
The cougar appreciates the different names with which it is known due to the different habitats in which it develops; it is possible to find it in mountainous deserts, forests, swamps, plains, even snow-capped mountains at almost 5,000 m altitude, where traces of its paws have been found. It is distributed from Canada to the end of the Andes Mountain Range, being this last part where it has managed to develop and maintain itself the most.
South America is where more subspecies of cougar can be found. There is the puma concolor concolor or puma from the north of South America, it lives in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina; the puma concolor cabrerae or Argentine puma, is found in Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina; the puma concolor anthonyi or puma from the East of South America, can be seen in Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay; and the puma concolor puma or puma from the South of South America, a subspecies found in Chile and Argentina, is the one that supports lower temperatures.
Did you know?
The Andean puma is capable of jumping up to 6 meters away, while vertical jumps can exceed 10, thanks to the large size of its hind legs.
This animal does not roar, it emits sounds very similar to a purr. Their front legs have 5 toes each, while their back legs only have 4 toes each.
Newborn cougars are blind and have spots on their fur, which disappear by the time they reach adulthood.
The Andean puma is categorized as «Near Threatened», according to D.S. No. 004-2014-MINAGRI. It is also included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Its unauthorized hunting and capture is a crime that is punishable by a fine of not less than S/ 41,500 and criminal proceedings with a custodial sentence.