aka cougar, mountain lion, panther, and more
Silent and elusive, pumas are extremely rare in Minnesota. Few Minnesotans have ever seen one in the wild.

What They Eat

Pumas eat a wide range of medium and large-sized animals, from rabbits to deer.

Where They Live

Pumas can live wherever their main prey—deer—roam.

What They Do

Speedy and large—they can tackle a healthy deer by themselves.

How They’re Doing

While numbers may increase as they expand to unoccupied range, cougars are territorial and therefore density dependent, which means they limit their population without any assistance from man so in areas they are established there is a ceiling to their growth potential.  The puma is protected in Minnesota.


Where in the World

North America
South America


Temperate Forest/Taiga Tropical Forest Other (rocky terrain with shrubby growth)

Conservation Status


Animal Facts

Nose to tip of tail: 5-8 ft
Height: 2.0-2.5 ft at the shoulder
Weight: 85-155 lbs females and 120-190 lbs males
Lifespan: 8-13 years in the wild, longer in captivity

Taxonomic Category

Mammal, carnivore

Where at the Zoo

Medtronic Minnesota Trail

  • Probably due to their wide range across North and South America, pumas have multiple names they are known by.
  • Linked to speed, strength, and cunning, the names “puma” and “cougar” are popular names for sports teams, athletic shoes, and cars.
  • Pumas can run up to 43 mph, jump more than 20 feet from standing, and leap up to 16 feet straight up. One was even seen jumping 12 feet into a tree with a deer in its jaws.
  • Although pumas can make a wide range of cat noises (hisses, growls, purrs), they cannot roar. Instead, they are well known for their distinctive “screams.”
  • Pumas are excellent swimmers, but like most cats, prefer not to get wet.

Content Here