Fellows in the News
Posted by Lauren Hertel on Wednesday, October 18 2017


Mark Elbroch

Supposedly solitary pumas actually hang out with their fellow big cats quite often, frequently coming together and hissing and snarling before settling down to share a delicious elk carcass.

That's the startling discovery made by scientists who recently tracked 13 pumas — also called mountain lions or cougars — and set up cameras at kill sites. They recorded dozens of peaceful social interactions between these elusive felines.

Pumas can live for more than a dozen years in the wild and have huge home ranges that can stretch for hundreds of miles. Scientists used to think that they lived lonely lives and only came together to mate or fight over territory.

"There was really no other reason to come together at all," says Mark Elbroch of Panthera. "People just made a lot of assumptions based on very little data, and those assumptions became mythology, even within the science world."

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