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629 NIGHT WALKER - COUGAR
The cougar, also known as the puma or mountain lion, is North America's largest cat. Cougars have the largest range of any wild mammal in the America's and can be found from the Canadian Yukon to the tip of South America. They live in a wide range of habitats, usually in areas with dense underbrush, from deserts and forests to mountains and plains. Sleek and agile, cougars can reach 8 feet long from head to tip of tail and 150 pounds. Their powerful legs allow them to sprint for short distances as fast as 35 miles per hour and enable them to leap up to 30 feet, crucial to their ability to stalk and ambush deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Like most cats, cougars are solitary and territorial, roaming up to 15 miles between dusk and dawn, and require home ranges 50-100 square miles to thrive. Like other large predators, their long-term conservation depends on preservation of large-scale native landscapes. Black Hills, South Dakota.