The name bestowed on the mighty killer cats of North and South America by the ancients was the puma, as they were known to the Incas.
Depending on region and time period they have been known over the centuries as panthers, mountain lions, painters and catamounts, though its household name is the cougar. And the species, true to the feline reputation of having nine lives, seems to have rebounded, according to The New York Times. Once nearly extinct east of the Rockies by 1900, is back with a vengeance. And they are replicating throughout Indian country.
Cougars, the Times reports, “have re-colonized the Black Hills of South Dakota, the North Dakota Badlands and the Pine Ridge country of northwestern Nebraska.”
“Every year we see more of them,” said Mark Dowling, a founder of the Cougar Network, a nonprofit research group on the animals, to the Times. “It used to be a rarity when a mountain lion showed up in Missouri. It’s almost routine now.”
As state and federal wildlife officials prepare to transition in gray-wolf management, many states now find themselves preparing for an influx of cougars. Read how in A Glamorous Killer Returns.