Mountain Lion

Mountain Lions or Pumas (Puma Concolor) are found around the edges of Tucson, Arizona, usually in foothill canyons or rocky hillside areas with plenty of deer (their favorite prey) and hiding places in the rocks and brush.

Sleeping female Mountain Lion or Puma (Puma Concolor)

Mountain Lions usually avoid humans, which is fortunate because these large top predators can be dangerous. Mountain Lions usually weigh between 75 to 150 pounds (34 to 68 kg), but some males can weigh over 200 pounds (91 kg). On hiking trails in their prime habitat, those at greatest risk of a rare Mountain Lion attack are unattended small children, joggers and mountain bikers (they look like fleeing prey), people hiking alone, and dogs running off-leash.

Unlike many people I know here in Tucson, I have never seen a Mountain Lion in the wild, even though I'm frequently out traipsing around in prime Mountain Lion habitat. I photographed this sleeping female Mountain Lion at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I neither would nor could have gotten so close to an actual wild Mountain Lion!