Huge cougars. It's the most widespread large wild mammal in the Western Hemisphere, ranging from the Yukon to the Andes. It fits most American settings. Puma, mountain lion, catamount, panther.
Cougars are alone unless mating. After leaving their mothers, guys don't stick together. Nocturnal. Cougars are ambush runners. Before attacking, they hide in brush, trees, and ledges.
Strong bite and momentum can crush smaller prey's neck. The cat drags a kill, covers it, and eats for days. Male cougars make scrapes to communicate. Hiss, snarl, whistle.
Cougars consume large mammals, especially deer, coyotes, beavers, porcupines, mice, marmots, raccoons, hares, birds, and grasshoppers. They eat chickens, sheep, calves, goats, and pigs.
Polygamous. From December through March, northern birds mate. After a 90-96-day pregnancy, females bear 1 to 6 kittens every other year. In rock shelters, heaps of rocks, fissures, thickets, or caverns,
They give birth in dens lined with vegetation or moss. Kittens nurse for 1-2 years. 40 days is weaning. Males mature at 3, females at 2.5. Once settled, they breed.
Central and South America may have more people than North America. To safeguard livestock, farmers and hunters shoot cougars. Threats include habitat destruction, hunting, traffic accidents, and zoo capture.