Mountain lion habitat is threatened by human development, but the cats are also trapped in roadside zoos, killed as potential threats to other animals or humans and hunted as trophies. A particularly cruel and unsporting hunting technique is “hounding,” in which packs of radio-collared dogs chase a mountain lion into a tree or onto a rock ledge, allowing a hunter to shoot the cat at close range.
Mountain lions have the largest “home ranges” of any land mammal in the Americas, spanning anywhere from 30 to 125 square miles in habitats from mountains to swamps. They're highly intelligent and elusive animals who primarily eat deer and avoid humans; mountain lion predation has even been shown to reduce vehicle collisions with deer. Killing big cats disrupts their social structure and may exacerbate conflicts with humans and other animals. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent conflicts with mountain lions.
While they have muscular legs, sharp claws and the ability to jump the height of a two-story building, mountain lions purr just like your cat at home.
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